Politics & Legislation Reports & Studies UN

UN Report “Exploring Alternative Materials to Reduce Plastic Pollution” is available

The UN Environment report assesses the potential of replacing certain conventional plastics applications with alternative materials.

“Making the switch from disposable plastic to sustainable alternatives is an investment in the long-term future of our environment,” Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment said. “The world needs to embrace solutions other than single-use, throwaway plastic”

Packaging and other single-use items form a large proportion of the plastic litter leaking to the ocean.

The report highlights some relatively conventional alternatives as well as less obvious solutions: including algae, fungi and pineapple leaves.

“The report is intended to encourage society to question our current use of plastics and consider the adoption of alternative approaches, especially for those items which can be characterised as designed for single use, such as packaging,” Peter Kershaw, lead author of the report said. “Packaging and other single-use items form a large proportion of the plastic litter leaking to the ocean.”

The advantages and disadvantages of conventional plastics made from fossil fuels are further compared with both alternative natural materials, obtained from plants and animals and newer generation bio-polymers which are plastics made from biomass sources.

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