Addressing single-use plastic products pollutions


This UNEP report comes with a surprising take-away – The problem with single-use plastic is not the plastic – it is the single use.

A critical finding is that “single-use” is more problematic than “plastic”, with the most sustainable products being reusables, “ wrote the United Nations in a report here.

The report summarizes the key conclusions on the environmental performance of eight different single-use plastic products compared to their alternatives. It also includes an overview of policy actions and instruments that many United Nations member states have utilized in addressing single-use plastic products (SUPP) pollution. Further, to understand the national-level actions implemented to tackle SUPP pollution, the report delves deep into case studies from 10 countries.

Why Not Go to Plant-Based Plastic Substitutes?

According to the “Summary for Decision Makers”,  replacing one disposable product like fossil-based plastic with another disposable like paper or biobased plastic tends to simply shift the impacts. Therefore, it is “important to reduce the use of single-use products altogether, while supporting current manufacturers of single-use products to shift their focus.”


View the full report in English, Spanish or French, and the Summary for Decision Makers.


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