Press Release

Results of Workshop to Reduce Marine Plastic Litter, Co-hosted by OECD and Ministry of the Environment, Japan

July 17, 2020

OECD and MOEJ co-hosted a workshop, "REDUCING MARINE PLASTIC LITTER: TAKING STOCK OF CURRENT POLICIES AND PAVING THE WAY TOWARDS LONGER TERM GOALS" on June 11 and 12. In addition to the international organizations and government officials, experts from private sectors also participated in the workshop.
The Minister of the Environment Koizumi sent a video message to the workshop. Participants discussed "when and what kind of measures should be taken globally" and multiple scenarios for the realization of the "Osaka Blue Ocean Vision".

1. Background and purpose

At the G20 Osaka Summit held in June 2019, Japan proposed the "Osaka Blue Ocean Vision," which aims to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050, and it was shared among the G20 leaders.

The "G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter" was also adopted at the "G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth", with the initiative of Japan. It is a new effective framework in which emerging countries and developing countries also participate, and each country implements voluntary measures and continuously reports and shares their efforts.

In October 2020, "Follow up of the G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter" was held in Tokyo.

The objective of the workshop was to take stock of policy action to combat marine plastic litter at the international, national, and sub-national level, present lessons learnt, and discuss possible scenarios to achieve long-term goals, notably the "Osaka Blue Ocean Vision".

2. Date and time and place

20:00 - 23:00 (Japan time) on June 11 and 12, 2020

Online meeting

3. Host

OECD, MOEJ

4. Program

Day 1:

a) Opening remarks

Video messages from the OECD Secretary-General Gurría and the Minister of the Environment Koizumi were shown. The video messages are published online. Please refer to the following URL.

https://oe.cd/mpl-workshop

b) Keynote speech

Professor Jambeck gave a keynote speech. She is known for estimating the inputs of the marine plastic litter into the ocean around the world.

c) Domestic and international policies

Domestic and international policy initiatives were introduced by OECD, UNEP, and government officials of each country. From the Ministry of the Environment, the Director of Office of Policies against Marine Plastics Pollution participated in the panel discussion.

DAY 2:

d) Expert presentations related to long-term goals

Participants also discussed the long-term policy trajectories that will be needed to achieve the OBOV target. Presentations were given by experts from private organizations, followed by discussions on each topic. From the Ministry of the Environment, Mr. Ono, the Director General of the Environmental Management Bureau, participated as a moderator. While there is already some interesting analysis in this field, the meeting suggested that further efforts seem to be necessary to project marine plastics litter, possible long-term policy scenarios and the associated financial resources required to achieve zero marine plastic litter. The OECD will be contributing to these efforts through the development of the Global Plastics Outlook, which will aim to provide insights into economic drivers and projections of plastic waste, its associated environmental and economic impacts, as well as the policy mixes that will be effective in curbing plastic related pollution and waste generation.

e) Closing remarks

5. Main achievements

a) Many participants including those from an NGO and an industry group expressed their support to the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision (OBOV)

b) There is a need for a comprehensive life-cycle approach involving a set of policies that address all stages of the value chain of plastics products from the design stage to clean-up

c) Microplastics (e.g. microbeads, textiles fibres or tyre rub-off) are also an important source of plastic leakage and of particular concern given their ability to enter the food chain, requiring a specific set of policy responses.

d) The following areas for further work were identified or suggested:

  • Overall, it is important to continue to follow-up and strengthen measures, to generate and share scientific information and knowledge, promote innovative solutions, international cooperation, and multi-stakeholder involvement, and raise awareness among all stakeholder and the general public.

  • Currently there is no standardized methodology to measure and monitor the abundance of (macro and micro-) plastics at sea. Harmonisation of monitoring methods is necessary to allow for a better comparison of study results and for better monitoring. Japan recently published harmonized monitoring guidelines, which could help provide a basis of more coordinated monitoring efforts.

  • Research needs to provide better knowledge of the interlinkages of marine littering and economic impacts.

  • Policy research should highlight the different challenges among different countries and help identify effective interventions especially in developing countries.

  • Continued efforts in modelling and scenario analysis taken by OECD and other organizations such as macroeconomic modelling can help identify effective policy scenarios and develop concrete actions to reach medium- and long-term goals, such as OBOV.

Contact information:

Office of Policies against Marine Plastics Pollution,

Water Environment Division, Environmental Management Bureau,

Ministry of the Environment, Japan

Main phone number: +81-3-3581-3351

Direct phone number: +81-3-6205-4934

Director: NAKASHIMA Keiji (Ext.6602

Deputy Director: ABE Tatsuya (Ext.6634

Deputy Director: SAKOGUCHI Sadamitsu (Ext. 6963)

For Japanese

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