Journal Article: Plastic Waste Mitigation Strategies: A Review of Lessons from Developing Countries

Published in: The Journal of Developing Societies [Volume 38, Issue 3]


Global plastics waste is an issue of ever-increasing urgency. Estimates suggest some 79% of plastic waste is dumped into the environment, where it is likely to have devastating effects on ecosystems and human health. Marine plastic pollution is a particularly challenging issue, as plastics take decades to break down, and do so into micro- and nanoparticles that affect marine ecosystems and the food web. The plastics pollution problem is magnified in the Global South, where rising production and consumption coexist with underdeveloped waste treatment systems and large volumes of imported plastic waste.
This article examines the reasons for the failure to curb plastic waste in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and South Asia (SA), target regions of the Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution (SMEP) program funded to address such issues. The article examines the challenges in shifting manufacturing processes and natural materials substitution for reducing plastics waste. It recommends greater external financial and technical support for waste treatment, stakeholder consensus and awareness-building, regulatory policies that reduce the price and convenience differentials between plastics and substitute materials, and a push towards enforcement of environmental regulations.

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July 2022


Anil Hira, Henrique Pacini, David Vivas-Eugui, Kweku Attafuah-Wadee, Michael Saltzberg, Tze Ni Yeoh


Publication, Research Outputs



Plastic Pollution


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