World Ocean Summit Insight Hour: Collaborating across the value chain to minimise marine plastic pollution in emerging markets

The Economist Group World Ocean Initiative

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Wednesday, Jun 23, 2021
from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM (UTC)

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The Economist Group World Ocean Initiative




Climate & Environment

Data & Technology

Sustainable Development

Virt Africa

Waste management infrastructure is failing to keep up with the global increase in plastic production and use. Sorting and recycling remain challenging globally, and in emerging markets collection services are extremely limited. Many emerging economies, particularly in South-East Asia, are also recipients of exported plastic waste, which does not help the plastic pollution crisis. The benefits of plastic are clear, but the imbalance between plastic production and waste management is having a devastating effect on marine life, as well as impacting coastal communities and marine tourism.

Beach cleanups and campaigns against single-use plastic have raised public awareness. A focus on waste management infrastructure, however, is required to remedy the plastic pollution crisis.

This Insight Hour will address the role of plastics producers and corporates in supporting waste collection and recycling systems in emerging markets. The speakers will highlight enhanced producer responsibility (EPR) initiatives in Africa and recycling projects in Asia. They will discuss the need for collaboration throughout the value chain to drive positive change and develop the plastics circularity roadmap.

Key topics for discussion:

  • Collaboration on finance/investment in waste management infrastructure and recycling technologies
  • Collaboration on waste collection and sorting (to include the role of technology, regulation and incentives)
  • Collaboration on consumer education


  • Akshay Shah
    Vice chair
    Kenya Extended Producer Responsibility Organization (KEPRO)
  • Han Zhang
    Sustainability director packaging and speciality plastics, Asia-Pacifc
  • Afroz Shah
    Environmental activist and lawyer
  • Melanie Noronha
    Senior editor, thought leadership
    The Economist Intelligence Unit


The Economist Group World Ocean Initiative