Making waves with Plastic Drawdown

Jo Royle Common Seas
By Jo Royle

Plastic Drawdown exists to help governments understand their country’s unique plastic waste flows and choose the most effective portfolio of policies to tackle ocean pollution. The approach can be used to evaluate the potential effectiveness of proposed plans and policies, thereby supporting governments as, for example, they develop their 2020 to 2030 plastic pollution mitigation strategies.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of Plastic Drawdown as an evaluation tool, Common Seas and Eunomia recently used the approach to analyse England’s Resources and Waste Strategy. We published a full report on our findings, which were also picked up by the Guardian and the Daily Mail.

“Of the measures being considered by the government to tackle plastic pollution, the assessment by the charity Common Seas reveals that a DRS [Deposit Return Scheme] on all drinks containers, not just small bottles, would have the most dramatic impact.” Guardian article.

Our report also makes the following key points:

First, that although DRS is important, we can’t afford to overlook the plastic waste streams the policy doesn’t affect – the most significant of which is microplastics from tyre dust. The government can use the Plastic Drawdown model to spot any ‘gaps’ in their strategy and therefore plan where research and/or innovation is required in the months and years ahead.

And second, that although every country can learn from each other’s approach to mitigating plastic pollution, it is essential that their strategy responds to local waste characteristics. To illustrate this, our research paper compares the Plastic Drawdown analysis for the UK with that of Indonesia – highlighting how different each country’s ‘ideal’ policy portfolio would look.

By using a common approach across countries, Plastic Drawdown allows government and international bodies to compare progress and policy impacts between countries.

You can read the full report demonstrating Plastic Drawdown in action here.

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