Plastics Pollution on Beach

Fighting Plastic Pollution: Taking the First Step, Taking the Next Step

April 19, 2023 1:00 pm - 2:50 pm CEST




Convenience and low cost of plastic have turned it into an integral part of the modern economy, as well as into one of the major environmental challenges of 21st century, causing damage to human health, ecosystems and climate. OECD predicts that continued business as usual would triple the amount of plastics used by 2060, equally tripling the amount of plastic waste, with only one-fifth of this amount being recycled and half of that landing in the landfills, yet allowing almost 44 million tonnes of plastic to leak to the environment. Yet there’s hope - Breaking the Plastic Wave by The Pew Charitable Trusts and its partners shows that its possible to cut annual flows of plastic into the ocean by about 80% in the next 20 years by applying existing solutions and technologies.

While collective multilateral efforts to take action to reduce the production and consumption of plastics are only now taking off in the INC negotiations and BRS conventions, individual actions have already been taken by many economies that have recognized how unsustainable the current situation is. This event looked closer at the existing trade-related measures to reduce plastic pollution, targeted plastics, plastic products and materials, as well as asked questions on possible immediate next steps that WTO members could take.



  • Lunch


  • Introduction
  • Moderator: Alice Tipping, Director, Trade and Sustainable Development, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)


  • Trade policy measures employed in the fight against plastic pollution: what do we know?
  • Speaker: Ieva Baršauskaitė, Senior Policy Advisor, IISD
  • IISD will investigate the ways trade and trade-related measures are being used to reduce plastic pollution, zooming in onto the targeted products and materials, types of measures used and WTO members who have such measures in place.


  • Trade policy in the context of broader efforts to fight plastic pollution.
  • Speaker: Rachel Karasik, Senior Policy Associate, Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment, & Sustainability at Duke University
  • Duke University will provide a comparison of the information provided by and available to the WTO members on trade-related measures to the global landscape of plastics policies assessed through the Plastics Policy Inventory. This analysis will provide evidence of the diversity of policy instruments available to address plastic pollution. 


  • Where next: setting priorities going forward
  • Speaker: Megan Jungwiwattanaporn, Officer, Environment, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts will reflect on possible priorities going forward for the governments considering next steps, including the role of trade policy in such actions.


  • Questions and answers

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