Asia’s consumers demand action on plastic maritime pollution

A recent report by UNEP and FIA notes a rise in plastic waste in South-East Asia, amid the Covid-19 pandemic

Marine plastic pollution seems to be a growing concern, with consumers in South-East Asia demanding governmental action to address the problem.

This is according to a recent survey report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Food Industry Asia (FIA) that has noted a surge in plastic waste during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey polled 2,000 consumers and 400 food and beverage businesses in five South-East Asian countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The findings show 91% of consumers are concerned about plastic waste but only 54% are recycling plastic.

The study further found that while 80% of businesses have targets to reduce plastic waste, only 59% have announced deadlines.

The research states that consumers and businesses, across the five nations, consider governmental action to be critical in tackling plastic waste.

Dechen Tsering, UNEP’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, said: “Plastic pollution is choking the waters of South-East Asia. We will need fundamental change throughout the plastic value chain to achieve clean seas and beat plastic pollution. Governments, businesses and consumers can all increase their ambition and improve their efforts to achieve this goal.”

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