Solutions to plastic pollution

The circular economy considers every stage of a product’s journey – before and after it reaches the customer.

If you came home to find that your apartment was flooding, would you immediately start mopping up the water? Probably not! That would be a futile effort without first finding out what is causing the flooding and stopping it. This is the essence of tackling the root cause of a problem — moving upstream.

In a circular economy, upstream innovation is about tracing a problem back to its root cause and tackling it there. Why deal with a pile of waste when we can prevent it from being created in the first place?

By 2040 a circular economy has the potential to:

  • reduce the annual volume of plastics entering our oceans by 80%
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25%
  • create 700,000 net additional jobs

There is a need for new solutions, mindsets and innovations that will address and prevent plastic pollution which is largely from the single use of plastic products.

These new solutions and strategies must focus on using packaging that is reusable, recyclable, or compostable and packaging that can be kept in the economy and not the environment.

This video by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation looks at innovative plastic solutions that can be adapted across the world.

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About the Author

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.


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