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The 2022 World Oceans Day on June 8 calls for collective, transformative action to protect and revitalize the ocean. Attention to mitigate plastic pollution the ocean has increased tremendously in the past several years. Since the 1950s, plastic use in everyday commodities from packaging to clothing to face masks has drastically increased. Given its durability, practicality and cost-efficiency, plastic is the ultimate all-purpose, multi-use material. But, due to its slow decomposition rate, ranging from 100 to 1,000 years, its harmful effects on the environment, natural habitats, and biodiversity are also widespread. The World Bank estimates that the plastic industry, which derives and produces plastics from oil, consumes about 6 percent of global oil consumption and emits significant greenhouse gases (GHG) due to energy-intensive plastic production processes. Recent 2022 studies have now shown presence of microplastics in human blood and lungs aside from seafood. With ever-rising consumption trends of products and need for individual protection against pandemics, use of plastics and thus plastic pollution will likely continue to grow.
To battle plastics pollution, there are more than 25 international policies that countries like Rwanda, Mexico, Taiwan and the U.S. have instituted between 2000 to 2019 to curb plastics use. Focus has also shifted towards improving overall solid waste management and adoption of increased circular economy principles across all industries as means for reducing plastic leakage and addressing GHG emissions. With these advances, the Society of International Development – United States chapter seeks to better understand: (1) is there a solid waste management value chain for consideration that prevents plastic pollution to the ocean? (2) Where are the priorities and opportunities for more innovation in this solid waste management and ocean plastics pollution prevention process? and (3) What investments are needed to scale these innovations? Through a panel of representatives in solid waste management, research, advocacy and industry, SID-US will present and discuss innovative technologies and practices, research, public-private partnerships and financing opportunities that seek practical responses to mitigate ocean plastics pollution.
Silvia Petrova, Urban and Ocean Plastics Specialist, USAID
Lakshan Madurasinghe, Regional Lead, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal and Bhutan, Coca-Cola
Matteo Chiampo, Director of Operations, SecondMuse
Jamie Pero Parker, Sustainability Sector Lead, RTI Innovation Advisor, RTI International
Adhitya Prayoga, Head of Strategic Services, Waste4Change
Please note that the views or opinions expressed by guest speakers are solely their own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of SID-United States.
Registration will close at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Meeting details will be sent to all registered participants shortly thereafter.