Kick-off: More than 20 pilot projects work towards a Circular Economy for Plastics

  02 November 2020

More than 20 pilot projects in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam work on new approaches and the up scaling of best practices to prevent marine plastic waste. They are supported by the EU-BMZ funded project ’Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter’ with an overall budget of around 2.7 million EUR for the pilot projects. The pilots cover approaches for the management of plastic waste, sustainable consumption and production of plastic as well as the reduction of litter from sea-based sources, such as ships and fishing vessels.

How to stop plastics from finding their way into the ocean? The project ’Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter’, funded by the German Government and the European Union and jointly implemented by GIZ and Expertise France, is working on solutions together with seven countries and a lot of experienced partners in East and South East Asia. The project supports a transition towards a circular economy for plastics to reduce plastic waste leakage into the sea. Its activities cover the management of plastic waste, sustainable consumption and production of plastic as well as the reduction of litter from sea-based sources. After a call for ideas beginning of 2020, over 20 pilot projects in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam were selected and are now supported with a total budget of around 2.7 million EUR to test new approaches or up-scale best practices. For example in Phuket, Thailand’s largest island: The pilot project focusses on enhancing waste management mechanisms and reducing plastics in food delivery, tourism businesses and restaurants as well as in households and coastal communities. The pilot activity, implemented by the Phuket Environmental Foundation, was launched beginning of November 2020. In Vietnam, the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and the Hanoi University of Architecture are working on increasing the collection, sorting and recycling of plastic packaging in Ho Chi Minh City to reduce its environmental leakage. The Indonesian Plastic Bag Diet Movement is striving to establish plastic free traditional markets, with first activities at the markets of Banjarmasin and Bandung town. And in the Philippines, the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI), develops, for example, voluntary guidelines on sustainable packaging.

Other projects include cooperation with fishermen to return fished garbage to the port, for example in the Chinese province of Hainan by the Hainan Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, educational activities or the support of ports, for example in Bangkok and Shanghai, to improve their port waste management. With a better management for waste in ports, ships can bring their waste to the mainland instead of being tempted to dump it into the water. An overview of all the pilot projects will soon be available on the website of ’Rethinking Plastics’: https://beatplasticpollution.eu/rethinking-plastics/.

Contact: alvaro.zurita@giz.de

Buzzwords: pilot projects, circular economy, plastic waste reduction, marine litter

Grand Prize of a photo gallery contest in China: Guardians of the Great Wall (Photographer: Ying Limin)
Contract signing with Phuket Environment Foundation. Picture: Lena Kampe/GIZ
Phuket Old Town. Picture: Lena Kampe/GIZ
Meeting with Phuket Environment Foundation in Phuket. Picture: Lena Kampe/GIZ