Creating a G20 plastic waste response framework for sustainable consumption

Global production has been linear, following a production-consumption-disposal approach resulting in increasing demand and production of all products, especially plastics. With climate change, deteriorating air and water quality, and resource depletion concerns plaguing the planet, as well as a desire to shift towards more efficient production systems, a gradual change in manufacturing systems towards circular processes has begun. The G20 has taken steps towards this, adopting the G20 Action Plan on Marine Litter in 2017 and its Implementation Framework in 2019. While these instruments have driven the conversation around existing production patterns and the need to create a sustainable consumption ecosystem, more needs to be done. As a group of countries that are among the largest producers, consumers, and recyclers of plastic waste, the G20 is the ideal platform to drive the commitment towards sustainable plastic consumption. This Policy Brief seeks to inform policymakers of the multifarious issues around increasing plastic waste generation and suggest policy and fiscal measures that can be adopted during India’s G20 presidency. The brief will highlight the need for a coordinated global response and suggest measures across the plastic value chain, including an action plan for circular economy, data sharing and collection mechanisms, and innovative funding mechanisms.