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Slowing the Tidal Wave of Plastic Polluting the World's Ocean


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Join leading pollution experts from around the world for a conversation on the challenges of protecting the world’s marine environment from plastics.

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Part of WRI's Greening Governance seminar series.

Published in: Environment
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Slowing the Tidal Wave of Plastic Polluting the World's Ocean

  2. 2. IOM 2015 SPEAKER BIOS Carole Excell Acting Director, Environmental Democracy Practice, World Resources Institute Carole Excell is the Acting Director of World Resources Institute's Environmental Democracy Practice and the Project Director for The Access Initiative, working on access to information, public participation and access to justice issues around the world. Carole Excell is an Attorney-at-law with a LLB from the University of the West Indies and Certificate of Legal Education from the Norman Manley Law School, Mona. She has a Masters Degree in Environmental Law from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. She has seven years working experience working for the Government of Jamaica on environmental and planning issues both at the Natural Resources Conservation Authority and then at its successor the National Environment and Planning Agency. Hugo-Maria Schally Head of Unit for Multilateral Environmental Cooperation, Directorate General for the Environment, European Commission Mr. Hugo-Maria Schally is Head of the International Agreements and Trade Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment and former head of the Relations with the United Nations System, Member States and other OECD Donors Unit. Furthermore, he was deputy director of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (Vienna) and has worked for the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. His work area covers development policy and sustainable development. And Multilateral Environmental agreements, processes and trade issues. He hold a Master Environment and Diplomacy at the University of Graz.
  3. 3. IOM 2015 SPEAKER BIOS Andrea A. Jacobs Attorney, Antigua and Barbuda Andrea A. Jacobs is an Attorney-at-law specializing in environment, urban planning and development, and energy law. She is Chair of the Development Control Authority Tribunal in Antigua and Barbuda. She is also a Climate Change Negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and a women’s empowerment lecturer. She was appointed to the Germany-based Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL). Dr. Collins Odote Lawyer and Senior Lecturer, Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy(CASELAP), University of Nairobi Collins Odote is a Lawyer with a degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Law from the University of Nairobi. His areas of expertise are Environmental Law, Land and Governance He joined the University of Nairobi in 2010 and continues to teach at Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) as a lecturer and also at the School of Law, University of Nairobi. Prior to joining the University, he had worked with and for a number of governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) developing particular competencies in legal research, project cycle management, evaluations, environment and natural resource management work, capacity strengthening and training. He is also an advocate of the High Court of Kenya. Dr. Odote has written widely on his area of expertise. His recent publication is on the Role of the Environment and Land Court in Governing Natural Resources in Kenya (Nomos, 2019). He is also a weekly columnist with Kenya’s Business Daily Newspaper.
  4. 4. LEGAL LIMITS ON SINGLE-USE PLASTIC AND MICROBEADS CAROLE EXCELL Photo Source: Marco Verch Professional Photographer/Flickr
  5. 5. INCREASE IN REGULATION Source: Legal Limits on Single-Use Plastics and Microplastics: A Global Review of National Laws and Regulations
  6. 6. INCREASE IN REGULATION Source: Legal Limits on Single-Use Plastics and Microplastics: A Global Review of National Laws and Regulations
  7. 7. GENERAL FINDINGS Source:
  8. 8. Source: Legal Limits on Single-Use Plastics and Microplastics: A Global Review of National Laws and Regulations
  9. 9. Source: Legal Limits on Single-Use Plastics and Microplastics: A Global Review of National Laws and Regulations
  10. 10. Photo Source: Mitchell Haindfield/Flickr • Guidance is needed to support countries in developing more comprehensive approaches to plastic regulation. • There is a great need to examine the effectiveness of different legislative approaches. • Most action has been taken to address plastic bags, while other single-use plastic regulation is significantly behind. Even the regulation of plastic bags is not standardized. • Very little regulation of manufacturing, or requiring the use of alternative materials and eco-design. • Import controls have had significant impact.
  11. 11. Directive on the Reduction of the Impact of Certain Plastic Products on the Environment Hugo Maria Schally Head of Unit at European Commission, DG Environment Greening Governance, Washington, D.C. 10th July 2019
  12. 12. Jobs, growth & investment Circular Economy Action Plan Plastics Strategy Action on single-use plastics and fishing gear
  13. 13. Marine Litter: The Challenge Health concerns Degradation of marine ecosystems (13 billion Euros a year) Impact on fisheries and aquaculture (1-5% of total fleet revenue) and ports/shipping Tourism and coastal communities (>630 million euros)
  14. 14. The Need to Act EU’s Contribution to the Problem Single Market Innovation Race
  15. 15. Eurobarometer 2017 What Do Europeans think About Plastics?
  16. 16. What Do Europeans think about Plastics? /2
  17. 17. Engagement Plastics Strategy "A legislative initiative on single-use plastics at EU level still to be tabled by this Commission" "Approach used for lightweight plastic bags" "The Commission will also develop targeted measures for reducing the loss or abandonment of fishing gear at sea"
  18. 18. • Curb the negative economic and environmental impacts arising from littering of single-use plastics and from abandoned fishing gears • Significant reduction of littering Objective
  19. 19. Scope • Most found items on European beaches • Top 10 SUP (43%) + fishing gear (27%) = 70% covered • Source: o European Regional Seas Conventions o Joint Research Center Non-plastic 16% Fishing related 27% Other plastics 7% SUP top 10 items 43% Remaining SUP items 6% SUP 50%
  20. 20. Approach
  21. 21. Criteria • Reduction of marine litter • Alternatives to SUP (single-use & multi-use) • Effects on consumers/producers • Implementation
  22. 22. Design of products Extended producer responsibility Separate collection and deposit Awareness-raising measures Market restrictions Proportionate Action Consumption reduction
  23. 23. Consumption reduction Market restriction Product design requirement Marking requirements Extended producer responsibility Separate collection objective Awareness raising measures Food containers X X X Cups for beverages X X X Cotton bud sticks X Cutlery, plates, stirrers, straws X Sticks for balloons Balloons X X X X Packets & wrappers X X Beverage containers, their caps & lids - Beverage bottles X X X X X X X Tobacco product filters X X Sanitary items: - Wet wipes - Sanitary towels X X X X X Plastic carrier bags X X Fishing gear X X
  24. 24. Consumption reduction Prevention Measures • Significant reduction of consumption of on-the-go products: o Food containers o Cups for beverages • Member States choose the appropriate measures o Consumption reduction targets o Economic instruments o Increase the availability of alternatives, e.g. re-usable
  25. 25. Market Restriction Prevention Measures • Restrictions only target the plastic content, not the product itself • Only products with readily available alternatives (single & multi- use): ▪ Cotton bud sticks ▪ Cutlery ▪ Plates ▪ Straws ▪ Beverage stirrers ▪ Sticks for balloons ▪ Oxo Plastics • Product design requirement for the top littered item (single- use beverage containers): plastic caps and lids must remain attached during use
  26. 26. Labelling Requirements and Awareness Raising Prevention Measures • Labelling for balloons and products that are inappropriately disposed of through the sewers: o Sanitary towels and tampons o Wet wipes o Cigarettes • Harmonised labelling requirement • Awareness raising and education campaigns by Member States, covered by EPR (except sanitary towels and tampons)
  27. 27. Separate Collection Waste Management Measures • 90% separate collection target → plastic beverage bottles • Inter alia by Deposit Refund System or target for EPR → by 2025 o Facilitate the attainment of plastic packaging recycling target of 55% → by 2035 o Facilitate the attainment of high quality recyclates to support the uptake of secondary raw materials
  28. 28. Extended Producer Responsibility Waste Management Measures • All single-use plastic products (that are not subject to market ban) and fishing gear • Financial responsibility of producers o Collection and subsequent treatment of waste o Clean-up of litter o Awareness raising • Consistency with the minimum requirements for EPR schemes defined in Waste Framework Directive • Member States to establish specific EPR scheme objectives, including the level of ambition for clean-up activities
  29. 29. Evaluation Future-Proofing • Evaluation of the Directive after 6 years • Report by the Commission on the feasibility to: o Review the list of SUPs in the Annex o Set consumption reduction targets for food containers and beverage cups o Study whether there are biodegradable plastics that fully address the concerns of biodegradability in the marine environment
  30. 30. Learn more about this Directive, the plastics strategy and the circular economy:
  31. 31. REGULATING PLASTIC POLLUTION: EXPERIENCES FROM KENYA Talking Notes for Dr. Collins Odote Greening Governance Seminar on SlowingTheTidalWave of Plastic Polluting theWorld Ocean 11th July, 2019 Washington, D.C.
  32. 32. CONTEXT • Kenya’s coastline extends about 600 km along the seafront, from Somalia’s border at Ishakani in the north toTanzania’s border atVanga in the south • Home to rich and diverse array of flora and fauna • land, rivers, lakes, estuaries and other wetlands, grasslands, coastal and mangrove forests, sea grass and coral reefs • Support multiple uses including tourism, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, wildlife management and transport (shipping) • Despite importance, threatened by range of pressures largely anthropogenic • Pollution, land degradation, climate change, over-fishing, erosion, loss of habitat 32
  33. 33. THE ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGE • Every day, 9 out of 10 of us breathe air in which concentrations of air pollution exceed the limits set out in the World Health Organization’s air quality guidelines and more than 17,000 people will die prematurely as a consequence. Hundreds of children below the age of five die from diseases caused by contaminated water and poor hygiene daily. Women and girls continue to be disproportionately affected, whether it be as a result of cooking with dirty fuel or walking long distances to find safe water. Every year we dump 4.8 to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic in our oceans and generate over 40 million tonnes of electronic waste — increasing every year by 4 to 5 percent — causing severe damage to ecosystems, livelihoods and human health. -2017 UNEA Ministerial Declaration 33
  34. 34. SOME MORE STATISTICS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR KENYA • 2017 UNEP Report on Single-Use Plastics • Only 9% of the 9 billion plastic produced by the world ever recycled. Meaning? Majority is in the environment … • With current consumption and production patterns, by 2050 around 12 billion plastics will be in landfills and the environment • Country with poor waste management practices, poor collection, poor disposal, limited recycling and no waste separation • Plastic menace a huge challenge for country 34
  36. 36. DEALING WITH PLASTIC CHALLENGE IN KENYA • Many decades of work against plastic in Kenya. However spur for real focus was report in international press, FlyingToilets in informal slums • 2005: GoK & UNEP study recommended ban on thin bags and levy on thicker bags • 2005: first effort at ban. GoK prohibiting the manufacture and sale of plastic bags with a thickness of 30 microns • 2007: second effort at ban. Prohibiting manufacture of plastic bags less than 30 microns and 120% excise duty placed on them • 2011: third effort at ban. Covering manufacture of plastic bags below thickness of 60 microns • All efforts met resistance from private sector 36
  37. 37. 2017 BAN In exercise of the powers conferred under Sections 3 and 86 of the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act, it is notified to the public that the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources has with effect from six months from the date of this notice banned the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging defined as follows: • (a) Carrier bag-Bag constructed with handles and with or without gussets • (b) Bag constructed without handles, and with or without gussets Dated the 28th February, 2017 JUDI W WAKHUNGU Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources 37
  38. 38. IMPLEMENTATION OF BAN • Ban was to take effect after six months • Immediate opposition from KAM • Court intervention and arguments about: o Legality o Lack of public participation o Lack of penalties • “This case confirms that dealing with plastic waste is an issue of the moment the world over … Due to the foregoing, it is our finding that the first respondent has power under Sections 3 and 86 of EMCA to ban plastic bags.We therefore reject the petitioners’ contention that the first respondent acted ultra vires the said provisions of EMCA.” -Kenya Association of Manufacturers vs. Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and 3 others Petition Number 375 of 2017 • Confirmation that penalty, while not in Gazette notice, derived from general Penalty under EMCA o Term of between 1 year and 4 years and/or fine of between 2 million and 4 million Kenyan shillings 38
  39. 39. NEMA CLARIFICATIONS • 1st September 2017: clarification notice (letter) o All carrier bags (juala) banned o Flat bags outside industrial setting banned.Those used for industrial packaging at source exempted ▪ Requirement to comply with extended producer responsibility and takeback schemes ▪ Labelling of manufacturer and end-user to ease monitoring ▪ Inventory to aid takeback schemes o Flat bags used as garbage and hazardous (medical and chemical waste liners) exempt o Duty-free shopping bags exempt 39
  40. 40. EXTENDING THE BAN 40
  41. 41. IMPLEMENTATION PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES • Non comprehensive legal notice • The challenge of lack of initial support from private sector • Lack of ready alternatives at start of ban • Monitoring efficacy • Public awareness and participation in development and implementation • Smuggling • Impact on small scale traders • The continued sustainable development balance challenges 41
  42. 42. LESSONS • Ban has led to awareness of dangers of plastics • Anecdotal evidence of reduction of plastics in Kenya’s oceans • Current discussions on aWaste Management Bill and Draft Plastic Packaging Materials and Control Regulations, 2018 • Eradicating plastic pollution and comprehensiveness of legal instrument and other measures necessary • Need to move from ban to circular economy imperatives 42