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Jakarta Post

Circular economy for plastics: What is at stake for ASEAN?

  • Venkatachalam Anbumozhi

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 13 2019   /  01:21 am

JP/P.J. LeoThe Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region was adopted by leaders of the ASEAN last month, welcoming the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris. This follows previous commitments made by the leaders on promoting sustainable consumption and production to reduce marine plastic debris. Why are the leaders suddenly concerned about the use of plastic, despite its multiple economic benefits? The material is cheap, lightweight and easy to make. These qualities have led to a boom in the production of plastic, a petroleum byproduct, for the rapid uptake by industrial and domestic consumers. China is the world’s biggest contributor of plastic waste, responsible for 8.9 million metric tons annually, followed by five Southeast Asian countries, namely Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Collectively, the five countries generate 8.9 mill...