Headimage abstract

What's the benefit of "plastic bans"?

Bans are supposed to work, according to the latest Polyproblem Report, but they don't reduce the amount of plastic waste.


This is the conclusion of the current Polyproblem Report entitled "Strafsache Strohhalm" by the non-profit Röchling Foundation and the consultancy Wider Sense in collaboration with the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Energy and Environment. The team of authors examined the effect of government bans on single-use plastic products in three countries on three continents: Kenya, California and Germany. According to the study, there is clear evidence of an enormous reduction in specifically banned products such as plastic bags. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, 83 countries have banned the free distribution of plastic bags, 61 countries have introduced bans on their production and import, 27 countries have introduced production taxes, and consumers in 30 countries pay a fee for plastic bags. However, the regulations would not contribute to a significant reduction in the total amount of plastic waste due to the low weight and volume share. In Germany, it had also been shown that the ban on single-use plastic products does not lead to the hoped-for strengthening of reusable systems. Instead, there had been a shift to single-use products made of other materials, which is usually not an ecologically sound solution. However, citizens' approval of the restrictive measures and a noticeable revival of the discussion on sustainable consumption were discernible in all the regions studied. The authors of the Polyproblem Report recommend integrating so-called plastic bans into an overall strategy and improving international coordination when governments intervene in the market.
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  • (12/8/2021)
  • 12/9/2021)
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