Plastics, Pollution, and Solutions

Updated January 21, 2023; originally published April 2018 | Archived | Click to download as a PDF

Quick Facts:
  • Each minute, the equivalent of nearly two trucks of plastic is dumped into the ocean.
  • Some plastic:
    • can be recycled (PET or PETE – polyethylene terephthalate);
    • cannot be mass recycled (food packaging);
    • contain chemicals that should not be used again (BPA – bisphenol-A).
  • Of the 40 million metric tons of plastic waste managed in the U.S. in 2019, only 5% was recycled.
  • In 2019, 187 countries agreed to coordinate efforts on the plastic pollution crisis by updating the 1989 Basel Convention, which only the U.S. and Haiti have not ratified.
  • In March 2022, 175 nations at the UN Environment Assembly adopted a resolution to draft a legally binding agreement to tackle plastic pollution by 2024.

I. Executive Summary

Plastic pollution is a problem that affects the entire world, polluting both land and water. The equivalent of nearly two trucks’ worth of plastic litter is dumped into the oceans every minute, totaling 19-23 million metric tons annually. The entire marine ecosystem, from coral reefs and plankton to sperm whales, is negatively impacted by plastic pollution.[1]Alfred Wegener Institute, “The ‘Plastification’ of the Ocean,” awi.de, February 9, 2022, … Continue reading

Huge plastic islands are floating in the ocean and coming ashore on small island nations. Some of the plastic can be recycled (PET or PETE – polyethylene terephthalate), some plastic cannot be mass recycled (food packaging), and some plastic contains chemicals that should not be used again (BPA – bisphenol-A).

Some start-ups and organizations are coming up with solutions to plastic pollution that benefit poverty-stricken communities overwhelmed by plastic debris.

Since pollution from plastic waste affects the entire world and continues to grow, and China, which had been recycling around half of the world’s waste, began refusing to accept some recyclables from other countries, new solutions are needed to recycle the world’s plastic pollution washing up on all of the world’s shores.

In 2019, most of the world’s countries agreed to new restrictions on moving plastic waste to fight against the effects of plastic pollution.[2]Rob Picheta and Sarah Dean, “Over 180 Countries — Not Including the US — Agree to Restrict Global Plastic Waste Trade,” cnn.com, May 11, 2019, … Continue reading That action followed a global petition signed by nearly one million people urging action to prevent western countries from “dumping millions of tonnes of plastic waste on developing countries instead of recycling it.”[3]Rob Picheta and Sarah Dean, “Over 180 Countries — Not Including the US — Agree to Restrict Global Plastic Waste Trade,” cnn.com, May 11, 2019, … Continue reading

On March 2, 2022, 175 nations at the UN Environment Assembly adopted the first-ever plastics pollution treaty.[4]Reuters, “UN Agrees to Create World’s First-ever Plastics Pollution Treaty in a Blow to Big Oil,” CNN.com, March 2, 2022, … Continue reading The resolution pledged to draft a legally binding agreement tackling plastic pollution by 2024.[5]FP Explainers, “UN Passes Historic Resolution to End Plastic Pollution: What Does It Mean, Why This Is a Need of the Hour,” firstpost.com, March 4, 2022, … Continue reading In a joint statement welcoming the resolution, US Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), stated: “We are very pleased to see this major step forward in the global fight against the marine debris crisis and look forward to collaborating with partner countries to reach a final agreement.”[6]United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, “Joint Statement From Senators Menendez, Sullivan, Whitehouse on the UN Environment Assembly’s Establishment of Committee to Tackle Global … Continue reading

On December 19, 2022, 196 states party to UN Convention on Biological Diversity adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. The framework sets out four goals and 23 targets against biodiversity loss to be achieved by 2030. Target 7 demands that states prevent, reduce and work toward eliminating plastic pollution from all sources.[7]Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), “COP Nations Adopt Four Goals, 23 Targets for 2030 in Landmark UN Biodiversity Agreement,” cbd.int, December 19, 2022, … Continue reading[8]The United States and the Holy See are the only two states yet to ratify the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. The United States became a signatory in 1993 but are yet to ratify it. … Continue reading

II. Plastic Pollution – Facts and Challenges

A. Some facts about plastic pollution:

  1. The equivalent of nearly two trucks’ worth of plastic litter is dumped into the oceans every minute, totaling 19-23 million metric tons annually. The entire marine ecosystem, from coral reefs and plankton to sperm whales, is negatively impacted by plastic pollution.[9]Alfred Wegener Institute, “The ‘Plastification’ of the Ocean,” awi.de, February 9, 2022, … Continue reading
  2. According to a NationalGeographic.com article: “The prediction that by mid-century, the oceans will contain more plastic waste than fish, ton for ton, has become one of the most-quoted statistics and a rallying cry to do something about it.”[10]Laura Parker, “A Whopping 91% Of Plastic Isn’t Recycled,” nationalgeographic.com, December 20, 2018, … Continue reading
  3. Most ocean plastic pollution comes from India, China and Indonesia.[11]Sabrina Fearon Melville, “Ranked: The Top 10 Countries That Dump the Most Plastic Into the Ocean,” euronews.com, updated 6/22/2021, … Continue reading
  4. Results from a comprehensive plastic waste assessment by researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado (published in August 2022), estimated that a total of 44 million metric tons of plastic waste was managed in the U.S. in 2019, with approximately 86% heading to landfills, 9% combusted and only 5% recycled. Plastic waste sent to landfills may take up to 1,000 years to decompose.[12]Anelia Milbrandt, et al., “Quantification and Evaluation of Plastic Waste in the United States,” Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 183, August 2022, … Continue reading[13]Malorie Macklin, “Is It Really Worth the Convenience? 6 Ways Plastic Is Harming Animals, the Planet and Us,” onegreenplanet.org, April 11, 2018, … Continue reading
  5. The World Economic Forum estimates that “32% of plastic packaging escapes collection systems,” polluting the oceans and clogging urban environments.[14]World Economic Forum, “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics,” weforum.org, January 19, 2016, https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_New_Plastics_Economy.pdf
  6. Only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling, according to the World Economic Forum, noting that “the recycling rate for plastics in general is even lower than for plastic packaging, and both are far below the global recycling rates for paper (58%) and iron and steel (70–90%).”[15]World Economic Forum, “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics,” weforum.org, January 19, 2016, https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_New_Plastics_Economy.pdf
  7. Pacific island nations deal with rising sea levels, overfishing and “remote islands are increasingly awash in plastic trash.”[16]Todd Woody, “How Small Island States Are Transforming Themselves Into Big Ocean Powers,” deeply.thenewhumanitarian, June 22, 2017, … Continue reading
  8. According to a WashingtonPost.com headline on 1/20/2016: “By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans, study says.”[17]Sarah Kaplan, “By 2050, There Will Be More Plastic Than Fish in the World’s Oceans, Study Says,” washingtonpost.com, January 20, 2016, … Continue reading
  9. “Microplastics – plastic particles smaller than 5 mm in diameter – have been shown to be contaminated with toxic chemicals. These microplastics are small enough to be ingested by marine species, potentially affecting species’ and human health as they enter the food chain.”[18]International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), “Action Needed to Reduce Toxic Contamination From Ocean Plastics – IUCN,” iucn.org, May 4, 2018, … Continue reading
  10. A 2022 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) notes that “plastic waste produced globally is on track to almost triple by 2060, with around half ending up in landfill and less than a fifth recycled.”[19]Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “Global Plastic Waste Set to Almost Triple by 2060, Says OECD,” oecd.org, June 3, 2022, … Continue reading
  11. A 2020 research article published in Science, found that “current commitments coupled with appropriate policies” will only reduce plastic pollution by a rate of 7.7% by 2040, and that a “coordinated global effort is urgently needed” to avoid future build-up of plastic in the environment.[20]Winnie W. Y. Lau, et al., “Evaluating Scenarios Toward Zero Plastic Pollution,” Science, Volume 369. Issue 6510, July 23, 2020, … Continue reading
  12. Greenpeace, in their 2022 report “Circular Claims Fall Flat Again,” argue that “plastic recycling is a failed concept,” noting that the lack of plastic recycling is due to “toxicity and economics.” [21]Greenpeace note the difficulty in collecting plastic waste, the need to recycle different types of plastic separately, the wasteful and hazardous nature of plastic recycling, and the fact that new … Continue reading The report goes on to say that “companies must take action to eliminate single-use plastics and packaging” rather than using “recycling as a smokescreen to divert attention away from the systemic changes that are needed” such as reuse and refill systems and packaging-free approaches.[22]Greenpeace, “Circular Claims Fall Flat Again,” greenpeace.org, 2022, https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/GPUS_FinalReport_2022.pdf 

B. Different types of plastics before recycling – These can be recycled:

  • #1 plastics known as PET or PETE (polyethyleneterephthalate) are usually made into water bottles and peanut butter containers, and can be recycled into carpets and furniture.[23]Brian Clark Howard and Amina Lake Abdelrahman, "Exactly What Every Plastic Recycling Symbol Really Means," goodhousekeeping.com, February 18, 2022, … Continue reading
  • #2 HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastics are usually made into milk jugs and shampoo bottles and may be recycled into pens and picnic tables; #5 polypropylene plastics are in yogurt cups and syrup containers and may be recycled into brooms and signal lights.[24]Mike Barrett, "The Numbers on Plastic Bottles: What Do Plastic Recycling Symbols Mean?," robertshealthfoods.com, February 6, 2013, … Continue reading

C. Different types of plastics before recycling – These either pose problems for recycling or cannot be recycled:

  • #3 PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastics are not usually picked up for recycling, can be harmful when incinerated, contain toxic dioxins, and may be recycled into flooring and park benches among other items.[25]Natural Home Brands, “Recycle Numbers on the Bottom of Plastics,” naturalhomebrands.com, accessed on April 25, 2018, … Continue reading
  • #4 LDPE (low-density polyethylene) is used for grocery bags and bread bags and are usually not recycled.[26]Angela Brady, "How to Recycle Number 4 Plastic," sfgate.com, December 28, 2018, https://homeguides.sfgate.com/recycle-number-4-plastic-79124.html
  • #7 are plastics that contain chemicals not in categories 1-6 (#6 includes Styrofoam products) and may contain BPA (bisphenol-A) which has been linked to health issues such as obesity and infertility.[27]Natural Home Brands, “Recycle Numbers on the Bottom of Plastics,” naturalhomebrands.com, accessed on April 25, 2018, … Continue reading

According to an article on Livestrong.com, there are certain plastic items that cannot be recycled, and they include plastic pill bottles, plastic straws and utensils, and Styrofoam.[28]Kate Bratskeir, "7 Recycling Mistakes You're Probably Making (and How to Fix Them)," livestrong.com, April 22, 2021, https://www.livestrong.com/article/13763934-recycling-mistakes/

D. China, which has had some controversy over its recycling practices, stopped accepting some plastics for recycling from outside the country for various reasons starting on Sept. 1, 2017:[29]David Bodamer, "China Notifies WTO of Intent to Ban 24 Types of Solid Waste Imports," waste360.com, July 19, 2017, … Continue reading

  • “China had been processing at least half of the world’s exports of waste paper, metals and used plastic — 7.3 million tons in 2016, according to recent industry data. Last July, China notified the World Trade Organization that it intended to ban some imports of trash, saying the action was needed to protect the environment and improve public health. … Chinese officials also complained that much of the recyclable material the country received from overseas had not been properly cleaned or was mixed with non-recyclable materials.”[30]Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, "Plastics Pile Up as China Refuses to Take the West's Recycling," nytimes.com, January 11, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/world/china-recyclables-ban.html
  • “‘PlasticChina’, an award-winning documentary released in late 2016, ignited further public outrage by highlighting the human and environmental costs of the under-regulated, Wild West-style recycling industry.” [31]Michael Taylor, "Southeast Asian Plastic Recyclers Hope to Clean Up After China Ban, reuters.com, January 15, 2018, … Continue reading

III. Plastics Recycling and Its Application

A. “Plastic waste has three fates — recycling, thermal destruction [combustion] and landfills.”[32]Roni Dengler, "Humans Have Made 8.3 Billion Tons of Plastic. Where Does It All Go?," pbs.org, July 19, 2017, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/humans-made-8-3-billion-tons-plastic-go Plastics that are recycled for other uses may be separated, washed then chopped, creating plastic flakes. A bottle cap and a bottle have to be separated because they are two different materials.

B. Plastic flake is made when certain types of plastics are chopped up in the recycling process. Companies are finding new uses for plastic flakes:

“Dark colored plastic flake is generally utilized in products that just get dyed black. For this reason, darker colored plastic has a narrow end-use, which results in low demand in the world market. … Thread was able to bring a customer, HP, to the table and create a demand for dark colored flake. This meant the price of that dark colored plastic increased. Furthermore, we were able to negotiate on behalf of the collection center owners for an additional two cents per pound. As that higher price flows through the entire collection network, more volume is collected. In fact, the recycling center that HP is purchasing from reported a 15% increase in collection volume shortly after the price increase. That increased volume means that more cash is being infused into the collection network, which allows collection centers owners to reinvest in their businesses or use the profits to further support their families. Thread and HP were able to increase the value of material that was priced so low it was barely being collected. In turn, that same material that was polluting the environment is now being picked up because of the higher price. Both of these factors come together to result in an increased amount of plastic moving through the system.”[33]Thread International, “Plastic Waste Not Wasted: Thread + HP,” threadinternational.com, June 19, 2017 (URL no longer available as of November 2022).

C. There is the possibility of energy as a by-product of the plastics recycling process:

  • Recycling Technologies created a machine in which “plastics are turned into the new oil called Plaxx. The energy needed to run the machines will partly be supplied by the gas emitted during processing and the Plaxx produced will be sold on for reuse.”[34]Maisha Frost, "Recycling Technologies Turns Problem Plastic Into Fantastic Fuel in Depots," express.co.uk, January 31, 2017, … Continue reading
  • “EcoFuel technologies’ (EFT) portable plastics-to-fuel technology can create about a gallon of diesel from 10 pounds of plastic. … Two proof-of-concept units designed to produce 20 gallons per day are available for observation, examination and sample processing.”[35]Jared Paben, "Equipment Spotlight: Portable Approach to Plastics-To-Fuel," resource-recycling.com, updated January 28, 2020, … Continue reading

D. Solar power solutions from plastics:

  • “An Hungarian company called Platio developed pavement tiles with solar panels integrated into them, made from recycled plastic.”[36]Materia, "Solar-Panel Pavement Made From Recycled Plastic," materialdistrict.com, March 17, 2017, https://materialdistrict.com/article/solar-panel-pavement-recycled-plastic/
  • A NGO in Argentina, Sumando Energias, shows people how to make a solar heating system using discarded plastic bottles.

E. Clothing and accessories from plastics:

  • A team from the International Development Design Summit (IDDS) has created "a way to add value to waste plastic by using a low-cost process to transform it into something useful: plastic sheets. From these sheets can be made a number of other products ... [including] shoes, bags, pencil cases and folders."[37]Erik Hersman, "A Plastic Waste Recycling Press," afrigadget.com, August 15, 2009, https://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/15/a-plastic-waste-recycling-press/[38]Msafiri Mzungu, "D-Lab, IDDS, and Plastic Recycling," msafirimuzungu.wordpress.com, September 8, 2009, https://msafirimuzungu.wordpress.com/2009/09/08/d-lab-idds-and-plastic-recycling/
The plastic recycling press used to create plastic sheets.
Many things can be made from these, including shoes and bags.
Photo credits: Erik (HASH) Hersman / Flickr

F. The downside of plastics recycling:

  • “After downcycling, plastic is generally unfit for another round of recycling. This means that it ends up in a landfill despite having seen a secondary use as a less useful product. Downcycling simply delays the process, and manufacturers have the same demand for new plastics.”[39]Dennis Hartman, "The Disadvantages of Recycled Plastics," sciencemag.com, April 24, 2017, https://sciencing.com/disadvantages-recycled-plastics-7254476.html
  • “The same people who are removing plastics from their lives, who know that plastic bottles contain estrogenic-releasing toxins, may not be aware they are wearing those same plastic bottles. … Instead, wear a long sleeve cotton shirt under the fleece or polyester fabric so there is a buffering layer between potential leaching BPA or other plastic toxins and the skin that absorbs these toxins.”[40]Becky Plotner, "Could Your Clothes Be Damaging Your Health?," westonaprice.org, November 21, 2016, https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/environmental-toxins/clothes-damaging-health/

IV. Some Organizations & Technologies Dedicated to Plastic Pollution Solutions

A. Organizations

  1. 4Ocean.com – “Through worldwide support and the purchase of 4ocean products, we’ve pulled 21,650,932 pounds of trash from the ocean, rivers, and coastlines thanks to the ongoing support of the clean ocean movement.”[41]4Ocean, "4ocean Homepage," 4ocean.com, accessed on March 14, 2022, https://www.4ocean.com/
  2. Ecodom.mx – “Ecodom is a social and environmental enterprise dedicated to prefabricated ecological dwelling development to provide safety and sustainable life. Our products are developed with recycled elements such as plastics and cardboard to the end of reducing waste in our surroundings.”[42]Ecodom, “About Us,” en.Ecodom.mx, accessed on February 10, 2019, http://en.ecodom.mx/
  3. Lego / Sustainable Materials Center – “Lego pumped $155 million into a new Sustainable Materials Center, … About 25 different Lego shapes, many of them plants, will now be made from sugarcane-based polyethylene rather than oil-based plastic. … By the end of the year, under two percent of Lego bricks will use the new polyethylene … While the percentage sounds small, keep in mind that Lego sells 75 billion elements every year.”[43]Brian Barrett, "Lego Builds a Sustainable Future, One Brick at a Time," wired.com, March 11, 2018, https://www.wired.com/story/lego-sustainable-bricks/
  4. Liter of Light – NGO – “Liter of Light was born from an original idea by Alfredo Moser in 2002, and consists of giving plastic bottles full of water and bleach (to prevent algae from growing in the water) to households and schools in areas without access to electricity. This method can also be of use in areas where the regular network is faulty, or where being connected to the grid is simply too expensive. One bottle is inserted into a [sic] whole made in the roof of the house, and provides the equivalent of a 55-Watt bulb during the day, with the sunlight refracting through the water in the bottle and into the house.”[44]Pierre-Yves Sanchis, "Illac Diaz: Light by the Liter," climateheroes.org, accessed on April 26, 2018, https://climateheroes.org/illac-diaz-light-by-the-liter/
  5. MacRebur – “In the case of recycled plastic roads, the future is now. U.K. startup is already working with a number of local municipalities on enhancing asphalt roads with tiny pellets of plastic made from recycled bottles, thereby reducing the amount of fossil fuel bitumen in the mix. The company claims the result is 60 percent stronger, longer-lasting, and more eco-friendly than traditional roads.”[45]Jenny Xie, "5 Futuristic Ways to Pave Roads, From Solar Panels to Recycled Plastic," curbed.com, September 20, 2017, … Continue reading
  6. NOAA Marine Debris Program – "The NOAA Marine Debris Program is authorized by Congress to work on marine debris through the Marine Debris Act, signed into law in 2006 and amended in 2012, 2018, and 2020."[46]NOAA Marine Debris Program, "Who We Are," marinedebris.noaa.gov, accessed on March 14, 2022, https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/who-we-are
  7. Ocean Conservancy’s ‘Trash Free Seas Alliance’ – “Ocean Conservancy has mobilized millions of people around the world to remove trash from our ocean and waterways. But removal is just one part of the solution. We must also prevent trash from reaching our waterways and the ocean, which is why in 2012 Ocean Conservancy launched the Trash Free Seas Alliance®. The Alliance unites industry, science and conservation leaders who share a common goal for a healthy ocean free of trash. The Alliance provides a constructive forum focused on identifying opportunities for cross-sector solutions that drive action and foster innovation.” [47]Ocean Conservancy, "Fighting for Trash Free Seas," oceanconservancy.org, accessed on April 25, 2018, https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/
  8. Ocean Recovery Alliance – “The Ocean Recovery Alliance is also a founding member of the Ocean Conservancy’s ‘Trash Free Seas Alliance’ which was announced at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2011. … We are the founder of the unique Plasticity Forum, focused on the future of plastic, and where the leaders are going with design, innovation, materials, recycling and solutions, for a world with reduced waste.”[48]Ocean Recovery Alliance, "Ocean Recovery Alliance," oceanrecov.org, accessed on April 25, 2018, https://www.oceanrecov.org/
  9. PagaBags and French NGO Couleur Baobab – “PagaBags was born from plastic bags. … the founding members of the French NGO Couleur Baobab, Françoise Chevallier and her husband Jacques, … connected PagaBags with an association of women farmers in Boussouma. … The technique involves prodding small chunks of pre-cut plastic onto a metal stick. The stick is then slowly rotated over a fire until the plastic softens. It does not take long but it does take skill and concentration.”[49]Pagabags.com,“Plastic Bags, Bottle Tops and Creative Reuse,” pagabags.com, accessed on April 26, 2018, … Continue reading
  10. Parley.tv – “Since partnering with Parley in June 2018, American Express has taken steps to reduce the use of single-use plastics, support beach cleanups and educate employees to be part of the solution. The collaboration now announces expanded commitments to the Parley AIR Strategy with a global campaign to #BackOurOceans and the introduction of a new symbol for change: the launch of the first-ever Card made primarily with reclaimed plastic intercepted by Parley from beaches, shorelines and coastal communities.”[50]Parley, "American Express X Parley: Back Our Oceans," parley.tv, accessed on March 15, 2022, https://www.parley.tv/updates/amexparley
  11. Plastic Bank – “The company, formed in 2013, pays people to collect plastic waste and take it to recycling markets in Haiti and, more recently, the Philippines. (There are plans to expand to Brazil and Indonesia, followed by South Africa, the Vatican, Panama and India). Collectors can receive payment in money, of course, but they also can draw on the credit to buy stuff, like cook stoves or fuel, at special stores.”[51]Anne Field, “The Plastic Bank: Using Plastic Refuse To Create A Global Currency For The Poor,” forbes.com, November 29, 2017, … Continue reading
  12. Plastics For Change – “Our program is designed to make it profitable for companies to transition away from virgin plastic and start sourcing recycled. ... 1% of the urban population in developing countries relies on recycling as their primary household income. Life at the base of the recycling supply chain is tough. Our ethical sourcing platform can help break the poverty cycle and create lasting change. ... Our program is designed to provide predictable and sustainable livelihoods to some of the world’s most marginalized and exploited people groups. Our inclusive business and fair trade practices ensure dignified work to some of the poorest communities.”[52]Plastics for Change, "About Us," plasticsforchange.org, accessed on March 15, 2022, https://www.plasticsforchange.org/about-us
  13. Plastic Oceans – "Our Mission: Through programs in Education, Activism, Advocacy and Science, we work to inspire changes in consumer behavior, corporate practices and public policy, with the goals of ending plastic pollution and fostering sustainable communities worldwide."[53]Plastic Oceans, “About,” plasticoceans.org, accessed on March 15, 2022, https://plasticoceans.org/who-we-are/
  14. Plastic Pollution Coalition – “PPC was founded in 2009 as a platform to amplify a common message through strategic planning and communication. Our more than 500 member organizations and a growing coalition of individuals seek to increase understanding of the plastic pollution problem and to find sustainable solutions. We aim to empower more people and organizations to take action to stop plastic pollution and to live plastic-free.”[54]Ocean Legacy Foundation, "Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC)," oceanlegacy.ca, accessed on March 15, 2022, https://dir.oceanlegacy.ca/directory/plastic-pollution-coalition-ppc/
  15. Recycling Technologies – “The recycling startup has built a machine that vaporizes all types of plastics and petroleum-based products like carpeting through thermal cracking into a product it calls Plaxx. Plaxx is actually a catch-all name for a number of different products, ranging from Plaxx-8, a feedstock for producing new plastics, to Plaxx-30, for heavy fuel oil.”[55]Nanalyze, “7 Startups Recycling Plastic with New Technology,” nanalyze.com, February 21, 2018, https://www.nanalyze.com/2018/02/7-startups-recycling-plastic-technology/
  16. Renewlogy – “Renewlogy (new branding for PK Clean) solves the problem of plastic waste entering landfills and oceans by turning it into fuel. While reduction, reuse, recycling and single- use plastic bans are the best answers, these answers can sometimes be slow to enact on the large scale needed to address the plastic pollution problem. … We are currently fundraising to get a portable plastic to fuel converter to the Haitian people as a means to cleanup the island and provide clean fuel that otherwise has to be imported.”[56]Plastic Ocean Project, "Renewlogy," plasticoceanproject.org, accessed on April 25, 2018, https://www.plasticoceanproject.org/plastic-2-fuel.html
  17. Sumando Energias – Argentinian NGO: “Things have changed thanks to ingenious but very simple solar panels made from recycled plastic bottles. … The homemade system is made of used soda cans, plastic bottles and milk cartons. As the sun heats the tubes of the solar collector, hot water flows into the storage tank. Volunteers paint the pipes black to adsorb heat from the sun. In this way, the solar collector keeps water hot all night long without the need for electricity or gas.”[57]Euronews, “Creating Solar Energy From Trash,” euronews.com, April 26, 2018, https://www.euronews.com/next/2016/11/15/creating-solar-energy-from-trash
  18. The Ocean Cleanup – “The Ocean Cleanup's team consists of more than 70 engineers, researchers, scientists and computational modelers working daily to rid the world's oceans of plastic. … The Ocean Cleanup's passive system is comprised of a floater with a solid screen underneath, concentrating the debris and leading it to a collection system. The system is slowed down by a drift anchor suspended at an approximate depth of 600 meters, making the system move slower than the plastic and therefore catching it. … The Ocean Cleanup has estimated to be able to remove 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 5 years’ time.”[58]The Ocean Clean Up, "About Us," theoceancleanup.com, accessed on April 25, 2018, https://theoceancleanup.com/
  19. University of Portsmouth, UK – “Biologists at the U.K.’s University of Portsmouth were studying the structure of an enzyme that can break down polyester when they found a way to tweak it. The result, according to a study published this week in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, is a ‘mutant enzyme’ that can degrade plastics 20 percent more efficiently than its original form. … So, in theory, if McGeehan’s accidental discovery proves successful, the world could see a future in which we no longer need to dig up more oil to make plastic bottles.”[59]Linda Poon, "New 'Mutant Enzymes' Could Solve Earth's Plastics Problem," bloomberg.com, April 18, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-18/an-enzyme-that-dissolves-plastic-pollution
  20. University of Texas at Austin - "An enzyme variant created by engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin can break down environment-throttling plastics that typically take centuries to degrade in just a matter of hours to days. This discovery,… could help solve one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems: what to do with the billions of tons of plastic waste piling up in landfills and polluting our natural lands and water."[60]Nat Levy, "Plastic-Eating Enzyme Could Eliminate Billions of Tons of Landfill Waste," utexas.edu, April 27, 2022, … Continue reading
  21. VolkerWessels – “By recycling the plastic into sturdy, hollow road segments, not only are we putting an invaluable and hardy material to good use, but being more environmentally (and economically) responsible by giving plastic a second life.”[61]Scott Borhauer, “VolkerWessels Wants to Roll Out PlasticRoad,” minipakr.com, March 3, 2017, https://minipakr.com/blogs/news/volkerwessels-wants-to-roll-out-plasticroad
  22. Waste2Wear – Founder Monique Maissan: “It is a very new concept to link third-world production and products directly to first-world consumer markets. By collaborating with a famous Dutch designer, Monique Collignon, we created The Conscious Collection, high-end fashion made from recycled plastic fabrics. The collection debuted in Amsterdam's 2016 Fashion Week in summer 2016. People were amazed!”[62]Entrepreneurs’ Organization, “Can the Fashion Industry Take Women Out of Poverty, Plastic Out of the Environment?,” inc.com, June 27, 2017, … Continue reading
  23. Separating mixed materials for recycling: a. German company Saperatec “has “raised about €4.3 million (about $5.3 million) to tackle one of the toughest problems of plastic recycling—mixed materials…”[63]Nanalyze, “7 Startups Recycling Plastic with New Technology,” nanalyze.com, February 21, 2018, https://www.nanalyze.com/2018/02/7-startups-recycling-plastic-technology/; b. “Shred-Tech® has engineered and manufactured custom systems to shred, separate and recover the component materials that make up these electronic products.”[64]Shred-Tech, "Shredding and Recycling Systems," shred-tech.com, accessed on February 10, 2019, https://shred-tech.com/about-us/

B. Portable and local plastics recycling machines

  1. Plastic Fischer - "Plastic Fischer is a Germany based social enterprise that develops cost-efficient technologies to collect plastic waste from rivers before it can enter the oceans. The company follows the 'Triple L Approach' by using locally built and low-tech solutions to operate at low cost. Avoiding high-tech-imports saves time, carbon, money and ensures quick repair and high scalability. The plastic is manually collected from the systems on a daily basis and brought to sorting facilities. All recyclables are reintroduced into the supply chain. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the collected material is not recyclable and is sent to thermal processing at certified incineration plants."[65]Plastic Fischer, "Press Kit," plasticfischer.com, 2021, https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1RU226iL3kIBiE727Ov9l0ap3-aCINn8w
  2. Precious Plastic – Dave Hakkens, the Dutch founder, makes portable plastics recycling machines from which people make coasters and tiles. According to FastCompany.com: “One set of instructions explains how to build a low-cost machine that shreds plastic into flakes. Another modular machine extrudes plastic that can be used for 3D printing; an injection machine and a compression machine can form plastic into molds. A series of videos explain how to build the machines using basic materials and universal parts.”[66]Adele Peters, “These DIY Machines Let Anyone Recycle Plastic Into New Products,” fastcompany.com, October 30, 2017, … Continue reading Online retailer Bazar.preciousplastic.com was created by Precious Plastics for people who use these portable plastics recycling machines to sell their products.[67]Adele Peters, “These DIY Machines Let Anyone Recycle Plastic Into New Products,” fastcompany.com, October 30, 2017, … Continue reading
  3. RiverRecycle - "RiverRecycle takes action by closing the loop on plastic waste in the most affected areas close to rivers and reintroducing the recovered material into the economy. In a circular economy, we create a waste management system that supports local municipalities to effectively manage plastic waste; offer communities safe and fair work and help to stimulate the economy by involving companies who will buy the end products of the river cleaning and recycling system. Our developers are working on projects in seven different countries, and we plan to install 500 river cleaning solutions over the next five years."[68]RiverRecycle, "Vision," riverrecycle.com, accessed November 3, 2022, https://www.riverrecycle.com/our-vision/#Mission-and-Values
  4. Seabin Project - "The Seabin V5 moves up and down with the range of the tide collecting all marine debris. Water is sucked in from the surface with a submersible water pump capable of displacing 25.000 LPH (litres per hour), and passes through a catch bag inside the Seabin V5. The unit is plugged directly into 110/220V outlet. The water is then pumped back into the marina leaving marine debris trapped inside the catch bag to be either recycled or sent to a waste management facility. ... The Seabin V5 retains all marine debris 2mm or larger."[69]Seabin Project, "FAQs," seabinproject.com, accessed November 3, 2022, https://seabinproject.com/the-seabin-v5/faqs/
  5. Searial Cleaners - "THE SEARIAL CLEANERS has developed a range of innovative and complementary products to collect marine waste in ports, marinas, waterways and on sandy beaches. Our mission is to contribute to the reduction of pollution wherever it is found through innovative processes in tune with the times."[70]Searial Cleaners, "Our Mission," searial-cleaners.com, accessed November 3, 2022, https://searial-cleaners.com/our-mission/
  6. Trashpresso – “The TRASHPRESSO machines are housed on a 40-foot container platform that is movable anywhere by trailer truck. It is powered by a solar-charged energy storage unit housed on a separate 20-foot container platform. … The TRASHPRESSO can upcycle up to 50KG of waste per hour. Waste is converted into architectural tiles that have both a utilitarian and raw material value. … The TRASHPRESSO can upcycle any thermoplastic that has a melting point lower than its burning point.”[71]Trashpresso by Miniwiz, "Homepage," trashpresso.com, accessed on April 25, 2018, https://trashpresso.com/
  7. Protoprint – “Protoprint [founded by environmental engineer Sidhant Pai and his parents] partnered with SWaCH, a Pune-based cooperative wholly owned by waste pickers. Together they have set up a low-cost filament production facility at a local rubbish dump in Pune operated by SWaCH waste pickers to convert plastic waste – specifically high-density polyethylene (HPDE) mostly used for plastic bottles – into 3D printing filament to eventually be sold to Indian or international 3D printing companies. Protoprint buys filament from SwaCH for 300 rupees (£3.50) per kg – if waste pickers sold the plastic waste directly to scrap merchants the pickers would receive around 19 rupees (23p) per kg, says Pai.”[72]Lu-Hai Liang and Laura Paddison, "Could 3D Printing Help Tackle Poverty and Plastic Waste?" theguardian.com, November 6, 2016, … Continue reading

V. Plastic Pollution Solutions Around the World

The Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes was adopted in 1989 and set restrictions on the export of hazardous waste to other countries requiring that the importing country provided written consent and would handle the waste in an environmentally sound way. As of February 9, 2022, 189 countries were party to the Convention; only the U.S. and Haiti had not yet ratified it, although both countries did sign the treaty.[73]UN Environment Program, "Parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal," basel.int, accessed on February 9, 2022, … Continue reading The United States signed the treaty in 1990, and the U.S. Senate provided advice and consent to ratify in 1992, but the U.S. has not ratified it because, according the the State Department, “it does not have sufficient domestic statutory authority to implement all of its provisions.”[74]US Department of State, "Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes," state.gov, accessed on February 8, 2022, … Continue reading

In November 2019, the governments of 187 countries (excluding the US) agreed to add plastic to the Basel Convention in an effort to “combat the dangerous effects of plastic pollution around the world.”[75]Rob Picheta and Sarah Dean, "Over 180 Countries -- Not Including the US -- Agree to Restrict Global Plastic Waste Trade," cnn.com, May 11, 2019, … Continue reading The move came after “nearly 1 million people signed a global petition … urging the governments of the Basel Convention to take action, by preventing western countries from ‘dumping millions of tonnes of plastic waste on developing countries instead of recycling it.’”[76]Rob Picheta and Sarah Dean, "Over 180 Countries -- Not Including the US -- Agree to Restrict Global Plastic Waste Trade," cnn.com, May 11, 2019, … Continue reading

On March 2, 2022, “in a historic move to deal with the global problem of plastic waste, 175 nations across the world adopted a historic resolution at the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi to forge an international ‘legally binding agreement’ by 2024 to end plastic pollution. The landmark resolution addresses the full lifecycle of plastic, including its production, design and disposal.”[77]FP Explainers, "UN Passes Historic Resolution to End Plastic Pollution: What Does It Mean, Why This Is a Need of the Hour," firstpost.com, March 4, 2022, … Continue reading In a joint statement, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), commented: "We are very pleased to see this major step forward in the global fight against the marine debris crisis and look forward to collaborating with partner countries to reach a final agreement. … We are committed to doing our part to enhance global cooperation so the United States is part of the solution to mitigate plastic pollution and its harm to marine life."[78]From Senators Menendez, Sullivan, Whitehouse on the UN Environment Assembly’s Establishment of Committee to Tackle Global Plastic Pollution," foreign.senate.gov, March 3, 2022, … Continue reading

Plastic waste turned into an installation outside the UN assembly in Nairobi, 2022. #TurnOffThePlasticTap © Von Wong Productions

On December 19, 2022, in a "sweeping deal to protect nature," 196 states party to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD) adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.[79]Catrin Einhorn, "Nearly Every Country Signs On to a Sweeping Deal to Protect Nature," nytimes.com, December 19, … Continue reading[80]Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), "COP Nations Adopt Four Goals, 23 Targets for 2030 in Landmark UN Biodiversity Agreement," cbd.int, December 19, … Continue reading The framework, containing four overarching goals and 23 targets for how to achieve those goals by 2030, commits the global community to protect and restore nature and remove pollution in the world's lands, inland waters, coastal areas and oceans, while also mobilizing "at least $200 billion per year in domestic and international biodiversity-related funding."[81]Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), "COP Nations Adopt Four Goals, 23 Targets for 2030 in Landmark UN Biodiversity Agreement," cbd.int, December 19, … Continue reading[82]European Commission, "EU at COP15 Global Diversity Conference," europa.eu, accessed January 16, 2023, … Continue reading Target 7 specifically targets plastic pollution, demanding states prevent, reduce and work toward eliminating plastic pollution from all sources.[83]Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), "COP Nations Adopt Four Goals, 23 Targets for 2030 in Landmark UN Biodiversity Agreement," cbd.int, December 19, … Continue reading Despite being only one of two states who are not a party to the UN CBD, the United States did send a special biodiversity envoy in observer capacity to the Conference of Parties to the UN CBD (COP15) where the framework was agreed.[84]The United States became a signatory in 1993 but are yet to ratify. The Holy See have not signed or ratified the convention. See: Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), "List of Parties," … Continue reading[85]Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield, "The US Touts Support for Biodiversity - But At COP15, It Remains on the Sidelines," theguardian.com, December 17, 2022, … Continue reading

Below are some initiatives and actions being taken by some nations to address the crisis of plastics pollution.

  1. Australia
    • “Yet another initiative that repurposes plastic waste into much-needed housing is the NevHouse, an initiative by Australian surfer and entrepreneur Nev Hyman. Speaking at the Plasticity Forum, Hyman outlined an effort by his company to build houses in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu from recycled plastic materials, agricultural waste, and even electronic waste, which has been turned into construction panels.”[86]Vaidehi Shah, “5 Ways to Win the War on Plastic Pollution,” eco-business.com, November 7, 2017, https://www.eco-business.com/news/5-ways-to-win-the-war-on-plastic-pollution/
    • In 2022, researchers from the University of Tasmania and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation reported that plastic coastal litter in Australia had decreased 29% in six years. They found that the greatest reductions in trash in the environment came about when awareness raising (information and signs) were provided alongside tools and infrastructure (e.g. trash cans), "or when people were motivated through economic measures."[87]Kathryn Willis, et al., "Australia Has Cut Plastic Waste on Its Beaches by Almost 30% in 6 Years. Here's How," weforum.org, June 16, 2022, … Continue reading
  2. Democratic Republic of Congo
    • In Bukavu, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local businessman Elie Mapenzi Matabaro and his company, FDA Group, collect discarded plastic bottles and other plastic waste and transforms them into cheap, hard-wearing paving slabs that are used across the city. The World Economic Forum report that, "every day, Mapenzi's trash collectors deposit mountains of plastic at the factory, where it is melted down and scraped into hexagonal metal moulds. Once the plastic has cooled, it is tapped out, piled high and sold to customers." Mapenzi's company not only provides environmental protection but allows him to make money and provide jobs for the city's residents.[88]Reuters, "This Congolese City Is Transforming Its Plastic Problem Into an Asset," weforum.org, April 13, 2022, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/04/congo-plastic-waste-environment-pollution/
  3. France
    • France has enacted a multi-year government program to phase out plastic, including the provision of water fountains in public spaces to discourage the use of plastic bottles. Plastic straws, cups, cutlery and styrofoam takeaway boxes were banned in 2021, followed by a packaging ban for a selection of fruit and vegetables in 2022 that will continue to be phased in through 2026. Other bans include a 2022 ban on plastic wrapping for press and publicity publications as well as a ban on free plastic toys with fast food sales. In 2023, fast food restaurants will no longer be allowed to use single-use crockery for meals consumed on site.[89]GV De Clercq, "New Law in France Will Save 1 Billion Pieces of Single-Use Plastic Annually," weforum.org, October 12, 2021, … Continue reading
  1. Haiti
    • Locals are paid by Plastic Bank to harvest plastics: “After bringing plastic to a recycling center that’s managed by a local entrepreneur and staffed by local employees, people receive payments on a mobile Blockchain app that they can then use toward goods. This method is used because it’s more secure and can be better monitored by Plastic Bank to ensure accurate payments, according to the company. … The recycling centers then turn the plastic waste into pellets that are sold to multinational brands that repurpose the pellets into products. Over the past several years, growing demand for plastic pellets of this kind has greatly expanded the market potential for recyclers.”[90]Joe McCarthy, "Haiti’s Plastic Bank is Turning Recycling Into Currency & Goods," globalcitizen.org, November 29, 2017, … Continue reading
    • Ramase Lajan [Picking Up Money]: “Through our program, local collection centers will increase the number of opportunities for Haitians to have competitive paying jobs to provide for their families, clean up the streets and help reduce the disease spread from unsafe water in the canals. We also expect to see the behavior of people change. Once plastics are seen as money rather than garbage, they will gradually and forever, disappear from the otherwise beautiful landscapes and beaches of Haiti.”[91]Scrap Monster, "Ramase Lajan," scrapmonster.com, accessed on March 15, 2022, https://www.scrapmonster.com/company/ramase-lajans/11308
    • “ThreadInternational plans to recycle plastic bottles collected by workers in Haiti, Honduras and Taiwan into fabric and use it to manufacture shoes, clothing and a new line of high-end backpacks, reports Trib Total Media. The company's founder and CEO is Ian Rosenberger, who appeared on the reality show Survivor in 2005. Rosenberger founded Thread in 2012 and has been selling fabrics to the likes of Timberland, Reebok, Marmot and Aerie.”[92]Assembly, "Thread International: Turning Garbage Into Jobs," assemblymag.com, September 11, 2018, https://www.assemblymag.com/articles/94480-thread-international-turning-garbage-into-jobs
    • “What if pieces of plastic strewn across the world’s beaches ended up in brand new computer boxes, not floating in the middle of the ocean or lodged inside seabirds? That’s what computer company Dell has set out to do, testing a supply chain that sees litter picked up from Haiti’s beaches and worked into recycled packaging. Anyone now buying the XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop can expect to find the machine sitting on a tray that’s 25 per cent ocean plastic – complete with an image of a whale and a link that leads to information about marine litter.”[93]Anita Makri, "Ocean Plastics From Haiti’s Beaches Turned Into Laptop Packaging," newscientist.com, June 12, 2017, … Continue reading
    • “Reyel Bonhomme is the foreman at Arris Desrosiers, a small company founded by two Haitians who decided to do something about the plastic waste that was invading their town. … Bonhomme, his sons and many residents of the town now collect any stray plastic they find – especially bags – and turn it in at the factory. Thousands of plastic bags are now transformed every month into backpacks and lunch boxes for local students.”[94]Marie Michelle Felicien, “A Plastic Recycling Plant in Haiti Attracts Workers and Helps the Environment,” globalpressjournal.com, December 12, 2018, … Continue reading
Prospective employees at a Thread-affiliated recycling facility are shown products made with the recycled materials, Haiti, 2014. Photo credit: Jovan Julien / Flickr
  1. India
    • In July 2022, the government of India announced a ban on single-use plastic items including "straws, cutlery, ear buds, packaging films, plastic sticks for balloons, candy and ice-cream, and cigarette packets, among other products." Plastic bags are no longer on the banned list but manufacturers have been urged to make bags thicker to encourage reuse.[95]Mayank Bhardwaj, "India Has Imposed a Ban on Single-Use Plastic to Tackle Pollution," weforum.org, July 6, 2022, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/07/india-ban-policy-single-use-plastic-pollution
  2. Japan
    • Zero Waste Academy is “a nonprofit that works toward Kamikatsu's sustainability goals."[96]Leanna Garfield, "The Simple Way This Japanese Town Has Become Nearly Zero-Waste," independent.co.uk, January 31, 2018, … Continue reading "Now 80% of the town's garbage is recycled, reused, or composted, with the rest going to a landfill. The process saves the village a third of its former costs from waste incineration. By 2020, Kamikatsu hopes to be completely zero-waste.”[97]Leanna Garfield, "The Simple Way This Japanese Town Has Become Nearly Zero-Waste," independent.co.uk, January 31, 2018, … Continue reading
  3. Maldives
    • “Maldives is known for its pristine waters and picturesque views, but what many not see is the overburdening plastic pollution that is hampering the clear waters of the island nation in the Indian Ocean. ... The Maldivian government took to immediate action and sought an ambitious plan to fight the plastic pollution by utilising the islands’ 1200 fishing boats and fishermen, who’d sweep the plastic rubbish from the sea when they fish and bring it back to the capital, Male, from where it will be transferred for recycling into plastic-based fabrics. Not only this, a 400% tax has been imposed on plastic bags which has managed to make many parts of the island absolutely plastic-free, which is gradually spreading through the island.”[98]International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies, "Islands States Take Responsibility for Climate Change," iins.org, July 17th, 2019, … Continue reading
  4. Micronesia
    • The Federated States of Micronesia include the four states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae, and these island communities have some recycling programs and other initiatives in place to target plastic pollution.[99]Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, "First Boluntary National Review on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," sustainabledevelopment.un.org, June 2020, … Continue reading For example:
      • In Yap: "After a six month period of raising awareness in the communities of Yap, the Yap State government has banned the use of plastic shopping bags in the interest of preservation and reducing pollution within the state. Effective July 4, 2014, retailers will be monitored by police officers and Yap EPA officials for compliance. Those found to be distributing plastic bags will be fined $100 per violation."[100]The Fourth Branch, "Yap Bans Plastic Shopping Bans," tfbmicronesia.com, July 11, 2014, http://www.tfbmicronesia.com/articles/2014/7/10/yap-bans-plastic-shopping-bags
      • In Chuuk: The Chuuk State Solid Waste Management Strategy 2019-2028 contains within its action plan an idea to reestablish a container deposit system. Such a system was operational between 1979 and 2002 however it was deemed "erractic in operation" and the strategy notes that, "by learning from the success of Yap and Kosrae, it is an appropriate time for Chuuk to consider re‐introduction of a CDL system, which will surely contribute to reducing littering and beautifying the island."[101]State of Chuuk, "Chuuk State Solid Waste Management Strategy 2019-2028," sprep.org, June 29, 2018, https://www.sprep.org/attachments/VirLib/Palau/chuuk-solid-waste-management-strategy.pdf
      • In Pohnpei: The government of Japan funded a new recycling center that is "able to collect and pressure to downsize 4 million additional cans annually compared to the current Recycling Center which pressed around 3 to 5 milllion cans per year."[102]Embassy of Japan in the Federated States of Micronesia, "Handover Ceremony for the Project for Construction of New Recycling Center, Pohnpei State," micronedia.emb-japan.go.jp, May 21, 2021, … Continue reading
      • Kosrae: The state of Kosrae has enacted a bottle deposit legislation. The legislation covers aluminium, plastic and glass, and has an 86% return rate. The deposit is 6 cents: 5 cents is returned to the consumer at the time of return, the remaining 1 cent is non-refundable and is used to cover operational costs of the program.[103]Bottle Bill Resource Guide, "Federated States of Micronesia," bottlebill.org, last updated June 22, 2021, … Continue reading
  5. The Moana Taka Partnership, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the China Navigation Company (CNCo) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment (SPREP) that “allows for CNCo vessels to carry containers of recyclable waste from eligible Pacific island ports, pro bono, to be sustainably treated and recycled in suitable ports in Asia Pacific. … Under this agreement, Pacific island countries who have insufficient or inappropriate landfill space to store waste, have inadequate waste treatment facilities, and the financial inability to ship recyclable waste are eligible for this opportunity. The types of materials that are considered recyclable include plastics, aluminium cans, waste oil and ozone depleting substances"[104]21 countries are eligible for these opportunities: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, … Continue reading[105]Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), ““Moana Taka Partnership” Unfolds Exciting Recycling Possibilities for the Pacific Islands,” sprep.org, March 20, 2018, … Continue reading
  6. Peru
    • “Visitors will no longer be allowed to carry in single-use plastics into Peru's 76 natural and cultural protected areas, from Machu Picchu to Manu to Huascarán, or national museums.”[106]Brian Clark Howard, Sarah Gibbens, Elaina Zachos, and Laura Parker, "A Running List of Action on Plastic Pollution," nationalgeographic.com, June 10, 2019, … Continue reading
  7. Philippines
    • In the Philippines, a group calling themselves the Plastic Flamingo (or Plaf for short), collect discarded plastic waste including bottles, single-use sachets and food wrappers from restaurants, businesses and consumers and turn them into building materials. The collected waste is shredded and then molded into posts and planks that can be used for fencing, decking, or disaster relief shelters. "'(It) is 100% upcycled material, 100% made from plastic waste materials, we also include some additives and colorants and it is rot-free, maintenance-free, and splinter-free,' said Erica Reyes, The Plaf's chief operating officer."[107]Adrian Portugal, "A Filipino Company Is Turning Plastic Waste into Building Materials," weforum.org, October 27, 2021, … Continue reading
  8. Taiwan
    • According to the GlobalCitizen.org article: “Taiwan Announces Ban on All Plastic Bags, Straws, and Utensils” dated 2/22/2018: “It will be one of the farthest-reaching bans on plastic in the world, and it demonstrates the momentum of the anti-plastic movement as the scale of environmental harm caused by the substance is fully realized. ‘We aim to implement a blanket ban by 2030 to significantly reduce plastic waste that pollutes the ocean and also gets into the food chain to affect human health,’ said Lai Ying-yaun, a Taiwanese Environmental Protection Agency official, in a statement."[108]Joe McCarthy, "Taiwan Announces Ban on All Plastic Bags, Straws, and Utensils," globalcitizen.org, February 22, 2018, … Continue reading
  1. United States
    • On Oct. 11, 2018, President Donald Trump signed S. 3508, the “Save Our Seas Act of 2018.”[109]The White House, "Remarks by President Trump at Signing of S. 3508, the “Save Our Seas Act of 2018”," trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov, October 11, 2018, … Continue reading “The Save Our Seas Act, which passed the House and Senate with bispartisan [sic] support in July, reassures funding to clean-up marine debris via funding through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program.”[110]Ray Downs, "Trump Signs ‘Save Our Seas Act’ to Boost Clean-up Efforts in World’s Oceans," upi.com, October 12, 2018, … Continue reading
    • “San Diego has joined a growing number of cities to ban containers made of polystyrene, better known as Styrofoam … in Washington, D.C., as of January 1. By July, businesses in the district will begin receiving fines if they continue to offer plastic straws. The law follows Seattle's ban earlier in 2018 and aims to reduce the impact of plastic straws as litter. … Branded as “No Straw November,” the campaign is a push to eliminate single-use plastic. The effort is led by the Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP), comprising 22 aquariums in 17 different states.”[111]Brian Clark Howard, Sarah Gibbens, Elaina Zachos, and Laura Parker, "A Running List of Action on Plastic Pollution," nationalgeographic.com, June 10, 2019, … Continue reading
Bring Your Own Bag - Recycle Right NY campaign billboard highlighting New York's plastic bag ban. Photo credit: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation / Flickr

VI. Conclusion

Although plastic pollution is a problem for the entire world, many organizations are tackling the problem with solutions that may benefit people in small island nations like those in Micronesia and Haiti. This paper is just a quick research project on plastic pollution, its challenges and solutions. There are so many more issues to cover and organizations and technologies to discover.

VII. Appendix: Chart of the Seven Types of Plastics

There are seven categories of plastics. They are numbered and given chemical names.[112]Greg Seaman, “Plastics by the Numbers,” eartheasy.com, May 2, 2012, https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/plastics-by-the-numbers/ Some can be recycled after use, and others may or may not be recycled.[113]Randy Miller, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7: Plastics Recycling By the Numbers,” millerrecycling.com, February 10, 2019, https://millerrecycling.com/plastics-recycling-numbers/ This chart shows the different types of plastics, their uses and those that can and cannot be recycled.

Plastics: Types, Uses & Recycling Potential

A.
Name / Chemical Name
B.
About the Plastic
C.
Can or Cannot be Recycled
1. #1
PET or PETE
(polyethylene terephthalate)
1 plastics are made into (but not limited to) water bottles and peanut butter containers, and can be recycled into carpets and furniture. [114]Brian Clark Howard and Amina Lake Abdelrahman, "Exactly What Every Plastic Recycling Symbol Really Means," goodhousekeeping.com, February 18, 2022, … Continue readingCan be recycled
2. #2
HDPE
(high-density polyethylene
#2 plastics are made into (but not limited to) milk jugs and shampoo bottles and may be recycled into pens and picnic tables. [115]Mike Barrett, "The Numbers on Plastic Bottles: What Do Plastic Recycling Symbols Mean?," robertshealthfoods.com, February 6, 2013, … Continue readingCan be recycled
3. #3 PVC
(polyvinyl chloride)
#3 plastics are made into (but not limited to) clear plastic food wrapping, cooking oil bottles, teething rings, and toys for children and pets; [116]Greg Seaman, “Plastics by the Numbers,” eartheasy.com, May 2, 2012, https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/plastics-by-the-numbers/ not usually picked up for recycling, can be harmful when incinerated, and contain toxic dioxins. [117]Natural Home Brands, “Recycle Numbers on the Bottom of Plastics,” naturalhomebrands.com, accessed on April 25, 2018, … Continue readingCannot be recycled, but may be repurposed for non-food or non- toy products
4. #4 LDPE
(low-density polyethylene)
#4 plastics are made into (but not limited to) grocery bags, bread bags, clothing and furniture, and are usually not recycled. [118]Angela Brady, “How to Recycle Number 4 Plastic,” homeguides.sfgate.com, December 28, 2018, https://homeguides.sfgate.com/recycle-number-4-plastic-79124.htmlSometimes not recyclable, but may be recycled depending on the facility
5. #5
PP (polypropylene)
#5 plastics are made into (but not limited to) yogurt cups, syrup containers, potato chip bags, plastic bottle tops and disposable diapers; may be recycled into brooms and signal lights. [119]Mike Barrett, "The Numbers on Plastic Bottles: What Do Plastic Recycling Symbols Mean?," naturalsociety.com, February 6, 2013; Greg Seaman, “Plastics by the Numbers,” eartheasy.com, May 2, 2012, … Continue readingCan be recycled depending on the facility
6. #6
PS (polystyrene)
#6 plastics are made into (but not limited to) Styrofoam containers, plastic cutlery, and egg cartons; chemicals in this plastic have been linked to some human health concerns. [120]Greg Seaman, “Plastics by the Numbers,” eartheasy.com, May 2, 2012, https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/plastics-by-the-numbers/Recycling possible but limited depending on the facility
7. #7 OTHER
(BPA, Polycarbonate LEXAN, and compostable PLA)
#7 is a category of plastics not in categories 1-6; some are made into (but not limited to) baby bottles, water cooler bottles and car parts. Some category #7 plastics contain chemicals like BPA (bisphenol-A); which has been linked to health issues such as obesity and infertility. [121]Natural Home Brands, “Recycle Numbers on the Bottom of Plastics,” naturalhomebrands.com, accessed on April 25, 2018, … Continue reading Some #7 plastics are made from bio-based polymers like corn starch and may be compostable. [122]Greg Seaman, “Plastics by the Numbers,” eartheasy.com, May 2, 2012, https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/plastics-by-the-numbers/Can or cannot be recycled depending on the product since this is a catch-all category

References

References
1, 9 Alfred Wegener Institute, “The ‘Plastification’ of the Ocean,” awi.de, February 9, 2022, https://www.awi.de/en/about-us/service/press/single-view/die-plastifizierung-des-ozeans.html
2, 3 Rob Picheta and Sarah Dean, “Over 180 Countries — Not Including the US — Agree to Restrict Global Plastic Waste Trade,” cnn.com, May 11, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/11/world/basel-convention-plastic-waste-trade-intl
4 Reuters, “UN Agrees to Create World’s First-ever Plastics Pollution Treaty in a Blow to Big Oil,” CNN.com, March 2, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/02/world/plastics-treaty-environment-climate-un-intl
5 FP Explainers, “UN Passes Historic Resolution to End Plastic Pollution: What Does It Mean, Why This Is a Need of the Hour,” firstpost.com, March 4, 2022, https://www.firstpost.com/world/un-passes-historic-resolution-to-end-plastic-pollution-what-does-it-mean-why-this-is-a-need-of-the-hour-10430181.html
6 United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, “Joint Statement From Senators Menendez, Sullivan, Whitehouse on the UN Environment Assembly’s Establishment of Committee to Tackle Global Plastic Pollution,” foreign.senate.gov, March 3, 2022, https://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/dem/release/joint-statement-from-senators-menendez-sullivan-whitehouse-on-the-un-environment-assemblys-establishment-of-committee-to-tackle-global-plastic-pollution
7 Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), “COP Nations Adopt Four Goals, 23 Targets for 2030 in Landmark UN Biodiversity Agreement,” cbd.int, December 19, 2022, https://www.cbd.int/article/cop15-cbd-press-release-final-19dec2022
8 The United States and the Holy See are the only two states yet to ratify the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. The United States became a signatory in 1993 but are yet to ratify it. See: Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), “List of Parties,” cbd.int, accessed January 16, 2023, https://www.cbd.int/information/parties.shtml
10 Laura Parker, “A Whopping 91% Of Plastic Isn’t Recycled,” nationalgeographic.com, December 20, 2018, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment
11 Sabrina Fearon Melville, “Ranked: The Top 10 Countries That Dump the Most Plastic Into the Ocean,” euronews.com, updated 6/22/2021, https://www.euronews.com/green/2021/06/22/ranked-the-top-10-countries-that-dump-the-most-plastic-into-the-ocean
12 Anelia Milbrandt, et al., “Quantification and Evaluation of Plastic Waste in the United States,” Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 183, August 2022, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0921344922002087
13 Malorie Macklin, “Is It Really Worth the Convenience? 6 Ways Plastic Is Harming Animals, the Planet and Us,” onegreenplanet.org, April 11, 2018, https://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/how-plastic-is-harming-animals-the-planet-and-us/
14, 15 World Economic Forum, “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics,” weforum.org, January 19, 2016, https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_New_Plastics_Economy.pdf
16 Todd Woody, “How Small Island States Are Transforming Themselves Into Big Ocean Powers,” deeply.thenewhumanitarian, June 22, 2017, https://deeply.thenewhumanitarian.org/oceans/articles/2017/06/22/how-small-island-states-are-transforming-themselves-into-big-ocean-powers
17 Sarah Kaplan, “By 2050, There Will Be More Plastic Than Fish in the World’s Oceans, Study Says,” washingtonpost.com, January 20, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/01/20/by-2050-there-will-be-more-plastic-than-fish-in-the-worlds-oceans-study-says/
18 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), “Action Needed to Reduce Toxic Contamination From Ocean Plastics – IUCN,” iucn.org, May 4, 2018, https://www.iucn.org/news/secretariat/201805/action-needed-reduce-toxic-contamination-ocean-plastics-%E2%80%93-iucn
19 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “Global Plastic Waste Set to Almost Triple by 2060, Says OECD,” oecd.org, June 3, 2022, https://www.oecd.org/environment/global-plastic-waste-set-to-almost-triple-by-2060.htm 
20 Winnie W. Y. Lau, et al., “Evaluating Scenarios Toward Zero Plastic Pollution,” Science, Volume 369. Issue 6510, July 23, 2020, https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.aba9475
21 Greenpeace note the difficulty in collecting plastic waste, the need to recycle different types of plastic separately, the wasteful and hazardous nature of plastic recycling, and the fact that new plastic is cheaper and better quality than recycled plastic, as reasons for the failure of plastic recycling.
22 Greenpeace, “Circular Claims Fall Flat Again,” greenpeace.org, 2022, https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/GPUS_FinalReport_2022.pdf 
23, 114 Brian Clark Howard and Amina Lake Abdelrahman, "Exactly What Every Plastic Recycling Symbol Really Means," goodhousekeeping.com, February 18, 2022, https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/g804/recycling-symbols-plastics-460321/
24, 115 Mike Barrett, "The Numbers on Plastic Bottles: What Do Plastic Recycling Symbols Mean?," robertshealthfoods.com, February 6, 2013, https://www.robertshealthfoods.com/2017/03/02/recyclable-what-do-the-plastic-symbols-mean/
25, 27, 117, 121 Natural Home Brands, “Recycle Numbers on the Bottom of Plastics,” naturalhomebrands.com, accessed on April 25, 2018, https://www.naturalhomebrands.com/blogs/news/72356997-recycle-numbers-on-the-bottom-of-plastics
26 Angela Brady, "How to Recycle Number 4 Plastic," sfgate.com, December 28, 2018, https://homeguides.sfgate.com/recycle-number-4-plastic-79124.html
28 Kate Bratskeir, "7 Recycling Mistakes You're Probably Making (and How to Fix Them)," livestrong.com, April 22, 2021, https://www.livestrong.com/article/13763934-recycling-mistakes/
29 David Bodamer, "China Notifies WTO of Intent to Ban 24 Types of Solid Waste Imports," waste360.com, July 19, 2017, https://www.waste360.com/recycling/china-notifies-wto-intent-ban-24-types-solid-waste-imports
30 Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, "Plastics Pile Up as China Refuses to Take the West's Recycling," nytimes.com, January 11, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/world/china-recyclables-ban.html
31 Michael Taylor, "Southeast Asian Plastic Recyclers Hope to Clean Up After China Ban, reuters.com, January 15, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-asia-environment-waste-plastic/southeast-asian-plastic-recyclers-hope-to-clean-up-after-china-ban-idUSKBN1F504K
32 Roni Dengler, "Humans Have Made 8.3 Billion Tons of Plastic. Where Does It All Go?," pbs.org, July 19, 2017, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/humans-made-8-3-billion-tons-plastic-go
33 Thread International, “Plastic Waste Not Wasted: Thread + HP,” threadinternational.com, June 19, 2017 (URL no longer available as of November 2022).
34 Maisha Frost, "Recycling Technologies Turns Problem Plastic Into Fantastic Fuel in Depots," express.co.uk, January 31, 2017, https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/760831/Recycling-Technologies-turns-plastic-fuel
35 Jared Paben, "Equipment Spotlight: Portable Approach to Plastics-To-Fuel," resource-recycling.com, updated January 28, 2020, https://resource-recycling.com/plastics/2017/11/03/equipment-spotlight-portable-approach-plastics-fuel/
36 Materia, "Solar-Panel Pavement Made From Recycled Plastic," materialdistrict.com, March 17, 2017, https://materialdistrict.com/article/solar-panel-pavement-recycled-plastic/
37 Erik Hersman, "A Plastic Waste Recycling Press," afrigadget.com, August 15, 2009, https://www.afrigadget.com/2009/08/15/a-plastic-waste-recycling-press/
38 Msafiri Mzungu, "D-Lab, IDDS, and Plastic Recycling," msafirimuzungu.wordpress.com, September 8, 2009, https://msafirimuzungu.wordpress.com/2009/09/08/d-lab-idds-and-plastic-recycling/
39 Dennis Hartman, "The Disadvantages of Recycled Plastics," sciencemag.com, April 24, 2017, https://sciencing.com/disadvantages-recycled-plastics-7254476.html
40 Becky Plotner, "Could Your Clothes Be Damaging Your Health?," westonaprice.org, November 21, 2016, https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/environmental-toxins/clothes-damaging-health/
41 4Ocean, "4ocean Homepage," 4ocean.com, accessed on March 14, 2022, https://www.4ocean.com/
42 Ecodom, “About Us,” en.Ecodom.mx, accessed on February 10, 2019, http://en.ecodom.mx/
43 Brian Barrett, "Lego Builds a Sustainable Future, One Brick at a Time," wired.com, March 11, 2018, https://www.wired.com/story/lego-sustainable-bricks/
44 Pierre-Yves Sanchis, "Illac Diaz: Light by the Liter," climateheroes.org, accessed on April 26, 2018, https://climateheroes.org/illac-diaz-light-by-the-liter/
45 Jenny Xie, "5 Futuristic Ways to Pave Roads, From Solar Panels to Recycled Plastic," curbed.com, September 20, 2017, https://archive.curbed.com/2017/9/20/16330658/road-potholes-repair-solar-recycled-plastic-sensors
46 NOAA Marine Debris Program, "Who We Are," marinedebris.noaa.gov, accessed on March 14, 2022, https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/who-we-are
47 Ocean Conservancy, "Fighting for Trash Free Seas," oceanconservancy.org, accessed on April 25, 2018, https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/
48 Ocean Recovery Alliance, "Ocean Recovery Alliance," oceanrecov.org, accessed on April 25, 2018, https://www.oceanrecov.org/
49 Pagabags.com,“Plastic Bags, Bottle Tops and Creative Reuse,” pagabags.com, accessed on April 26, 2018, https://pagabags.com/fr/content/28-la-mode-ecolo-artisanale-et-engagee-au-burkina-faso-pagabags
50 Parley, "American Express X Parley: Back Our Oceans," parley.tv, accessed on March 15, 2022, https://www.parley.tv/updates/amexparley
51 Anne Field, “The Plastic Bank: Using Plastic Refuse To Create A Global Currency For The Poor,” forbes.com, November 29, 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/annefield/2017/11/29/the-plastic-bank-using-plastic-to-create-a-global-currency-for-the-poor/?sh=2f2c520b7433
52 Plastics for Change, "About Us," plasticsforchange.org, accessed on March 15, 2022, https://www.plasticsforchange.org/about-us
53 Plastic Oceans, “About,” plasticoceans.org, accessed on March 15, 2022, https://plasticoceans.org/who-we-are/
54 Ocean Legacy Foundation, "Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC)," oceanlegacy.ca, accessed on March 15, 2022, https://dir.oceanlegacy.ca/directory/plastic-pollution-coalition-ppc/
55, 63 Nanalyze, “7 Startups Recycling Plastic with New Technology,” nanalyze.com, February 21, 2018, https://www.nanalyze.com/2018/02/7-startups-recycling-plastic-technology/
56 Plastic Ocean Project, "Renewlogy," plasticoceanproject.org, accessed on April 25, 2018, https://www.plasticoceanproject.org/plastic-2-fuel.html
57 Euronews, “Creating Solar Energy From Trash,” euronews.com, April 26, 2018, https://www.euronews.com/next/2016/11/15/creating-solar-energy-from-trash
58 The Ocean Clean Up, "About Us," theoceancleanup.com, accessed on April 25, 2018, https://theoceancleanup.com/
59 Linda Poon, "New 'Mutant Enzymes' Could Solve Earth's Plastics Problem," bloomberg.com, April 18, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-18/an-enzyme-that-dissolves-plastic-pollution
60 Nat Levy, "Plastic-Eating Enzyme Could Eliminate Billions of Tons of Landfill Waste," utexas.edu, April 27, 2022, https://news.utexas.edu/2022/04/27/plastic-eating-enzyme-could-eliminate-billions-of-tons-of-landfill-waste/
61 Scott Borhauer, “VolkerWessels Wants to Roll Out PlasticRoad,” minipakr.com, March 3, 2017, https://minipakr.com/blogs/news/volkerwessels-wants-to-roll-out-plasticroad
62 Entrepreneurs’ Organization, “Can the Fashion Industry Take Women Out of Poverty, Plastic Out of the Environment?,” inc.com, June 27, 2017, https://www.inc.com/entrepreneurs-organization/can-the-fashion-industry-take-women-out-of-poverty-plastic-out-of-the-environmen.html
64 Shred-Tech, "Shredding and Recycling Systems," shred-tech.com, accessed on February 10, 2019, https://shred-tech.com/about-us/
65 Plastic Fischer, "Press Kit," plasticfischer.com, 2021, https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1RU226iL3kIBiE727Ov9l0ap3-aCINn8w
66, 67 Adele Peters, “These DIY Machines Let Anyone Recycle Plastic Into New Products,” fastcompany.com, October 30, 2017, https://www.fastcompany.com/40486883/these-diy-machines-let-anyone-recycle-plastic-into-new-products
68 RiverRecycle, "Vision," riverrecycle.com, accessed November 3, 2022, https://www.riverrecycle.com/our-vision/#Mission-and-Values
69 Seabin Project, "FAQs," seabinproject.com, accessed November 3, 2022, https://seabinproject.com/the-seabin-v5/faqs/
70 Searial Cleaners, "Our Mission," searial-cleaners.com, accessed November 3, 2022, https://searial-cleaners.com/our-mission/
71 Trashpresso by Miniwiz, "Homepage," trashpresso.com, accessed on April 25, 2018, https://trashpresso.com/
72 Lu-Hai Liang and Laura Paddison, "Could 3D Printing Help Tackle Poverty and Plastic Waste?" theguardian.com, November 6, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/nov/06/3d-printing-plastic-waste-poverty-development-protoprint-reflow-techfortrade
73 UN Environment Program, "Parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal," basel.int, accessed on February 9, 2022, http://www.basel.int/?tabid=4499
74 US Department of State, "Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes," state.gov, accessed on February 8, 2022, https://www.state.gov/key-topics-office-of-environmental-quality-and-transboundary-issues/basel-convention-on-hazardous-wastes/
75, 76 Rob Picheta and Sarah Dean, "Over 180 Countries -- Not Including the US -- Agree to Restrict Global Plastic Waste Trade," cnn.com, May 11, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/11/world/basel-convention-plastic-waste-trade-intl
77 FP Explainers, "UN Passes Historic Resolution to End Plastic Pollution: What Does It Mean, Why This Is a Need of the Hour," firstpost.com, March 4, 2022, https://www.firstpost.com/world/un-passes-historic-resolution-to-end-plastic-pollution-what-does-it-mean-why-this-is-a-need-of-the-hour-10430181.html
78 From Senators Menendez, Sullivan, Whitehouse on the UN Environment Assembly’s Establishment of Committee to Tackle Global Plastic Pollution," foreign.senate.gov, March 3, 2022, https://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/dem/release/joint-statement-from-senators-menendez-sullivan-whitehouse-on-the-un-environment-assemblys-establishment-of-committee-to-tackle-global-plastic-pollution
79 Catrin Einhorn, "Nearly Every Country Signs On to a Sweeping Deal to Protect Nature," nytimes.com, December 19, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/19/climate/biodiversity-cop15-montreal-30x30.html
80, 81, 83 Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), "COP Nations Adopt Four Goals, 23 Targets for 2030 in Landmark UN Biodiversity Agreement," cbd.int, December 19, 2022, https://www.cbd.int/article/cop15-cbd-press-release-final-19dec2022
82 European Commission, "EU at COP15 Global Diversity Conference," europa.eu, accessed January 16, 2023, https://environment.ec.europa.eu/topics/nature-and-biodiversity/eu-cop15-global-biodiversity-conference_enf
84 The United States became a signatory in 1993 but are yet to ratify. The Holy See have not signed or ratified the convention. See: Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), "List of Parties," cbd.int, accessed January 16, 2023, https://www.cbd.int/information/parties.shtml
85 Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield, "The US Touts Support for Biodiversity - But At COP15, It Remains on the Sidelines," theguardian.com, December 17, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/17/cop15-us-biodiversity-cbd
86 Vaidehi Shah, “5 Ways to Win the War on Plastic Pollution,” eco-business.com, November 7, 2017, https://www.eco-business.com/news/5-ways-to-win-the-war-on-plastic-pollution/
87 Kathryn Willis, et al., "Australia Has Cut Plastic Waste on Its Beaches by Almost 30% in 6 Years. Here's How," weforum.org, June 16, 2022, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/06/local-efforts-have-cut-plastic-waste-on-australia-s-beaches-by-almost-30-in-6-years/
88 Reuters, "This Congolese City Is Transforming Its Plastic Problem Into an Asset," weforum.org, April 13, 2022, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/04/congo-plastic-waste-environment-pollution/
89 GV De Clercq, "New Law in France Will Save 1 Billion Pieces of Single-Use Plastic Annually," weforum.org, October 12, 2021, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/10/how-france-plans-to-significantly-reduce-its-plastic-waste-from-2022
90 Joe McCarthy, "Haiti’s Plastic Bank is Turning Recycling Into Currency & Goods," globalcitizen.org, November 29, 2017, https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/haiti-plastic-bank-recycling-poverty/
91 Scrap Monster, "Ramase Lajan," scrapmonster.com, accessed on March 15, 2022, https://www.scrapmonster.com/company/ramase-lajans/11308
92 Assembly, "Thread International: Turning Garbage Into Jobs," assemblymag.com, September 11, 2018, https://www.assemblymag.com/articles/94480-thread-international-turning-garbage-into-jobs
93 Anita Makri, "Ocean Plastics From Haiti’s Beaches Turned Into Laptop Packaging," newscientist.com, June 12, 2017, https://www.newscientist.com/article/2134334-ocean-plastics-from-haitis-beaches-turned-into-laptop-packaging/
94 Marie Michelle Felicien, “A Plastic Recycling Plant in Haiti Attracts Workers and Helps the Environment,” globalpressjournal.com, December 12, 2018, https://globalpressjournal.com/americas/haiti/plastic-recycling-plant-haiti-attracts-workers-helps-environment/
95 Mayank Bhardwaj, "India Has Imposed a Ban on Single-Use Plastic to Tackle Pollution," weforum.org, July 6, 2022, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/07/india-ban-policy-single-use-plastic-pollution
96, 97 Leanna Garfield, "The Simple Way This Japanese Town Has Become Nearly Zero-Waste," independent.co.uk, January 31, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/recycling-zero-waste-town-garbage-plastics-kamikatsu-japan-a8187301.html
98 International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies, "Islands States Take Responsibility for Climate Change," iins.org, July 17th, 2019, https://iins.org/island-states-take-the-responsibility-for-climate-change/
99 Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, "First Boluntary National Review on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," sustainabledevelopment.un.org, June 2020, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/26667VNR_2020_Micronesia_Report.pdf
100 The Fourth Branch, "Yap Bans Plastic Shopping Bans," tfbmicronesia.com, July 11, 2014, http://www.tfbmicronesia.com/articles/2014/7/10/yap-bans-plastic-shopping-bags
101 State of Chuuk, "Chuuk State Solid Waste Management Strategy 2019-2028," sprep.org, June 29, 2018, https://www.sprep.org/attachments/VirLib/Palau/chuuk-solid-waste-management-strategy.pdf
102 Embassy of Japan in the Federated States of Micronesia, "Handover Ceremony for the Project for Construction of New Recycling Center, Pohnpei State," micronedia.emb-japan.go.jp, May 21, 2021, https://www.micronesia.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ja/11_000001_00240.html
103 Bottle Bill Resource Guide, "Federated States of Micronesia," bottlebill.org, last updated June 22, 2021, https://www.bottlebill.org/index.php/current-and-proposed-laws/worldwide/federated-states-of-micronesia
104 21 countries are eligible for these opportunities: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna
105 Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), ““Moana Taka Partnership” Unfolds Exciting Recycling Possibilities for the Pacific Islands,” sprep.org, March 20, 2018, https://www.sprep.org/news/moana-taka-partnership-unfolds-exciting-recycling-possibilities-pacific-islands
106, 111 Brian Clark Howard, Sarah Gibbens, Elaina Zachos, and Laura Parker, "A Running List of Action on Plastic Pollution," nationalgeographic.com, June 10, 2019, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/ocean-plastic-pollution-solutions
107 Adrian Portugal, "A Filipino Company Is Turning Plastic Waste into Building Materials," weforum.org, October 27, 2021, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/10/phillipines-company-turning-plastic-waste-into-building-materials/
108 Joe McCarthy, "Taiwan Announces Ban on All Plastic Bags, Straws, and Utensils," globalcitizen.org, February 22, 2018, https://www.globalcitizen.org/fr/content/taiwan-ban-on-plastic-bags-straws-utensils-contain/
109 The White House, "Remarks by President Trump at Signing of S. 3508, the “Save Our Seas Act of 2018”," trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov, October 11, 2018, https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-signing-s-3508-save-seas-act-2018/
110 Ray Downs, "Trump Signs ‘Save Our Seas Act’ to Boost Clean-up Efforts in World’s Oceans," upi.com, October 12, 2018, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/10/12/Trump-signs-Save-Our-Seas-Act-to-boost-clean-up-efforts-in-worlds-oceans/6911539318914/
112, 116, 120, 122 Greg Seaman, “Plastics by the Numbers,” eartheasy.com, May 2, 2012, https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/plastics-by-the-numbers/
113 Randy Miller, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7: Plastics Recycling By the Numbers,” millerrecycling.com, February 10, 2019, https://millerrecycling.com/plastics-recycling-numbers/
118 Angela Brady, “How to Recycle Number 4 Plastic,” homeguides.sfgate.com, December 28, 2018, https://homeguides.sfgate.com/recycle-number-4-plastic-79124.html
119 Mike Barrett, "The Numbers on Plastic Bottles: What Do Plastic Recycling Symbols Mean?," naturalsociety.com, February 6, 2013; Greg Seaman, “Plastics by the Numbers,” eartheasy.com, May 2, 2012, https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/plastics-by-the-numbers/