All Hands on Deck: Addressing the Global Marine Plastics Pollution Crisis in Asia

Forthcoming, Chinese Journal of Environmental Law Volume 3(1)

NUS Law Working Paper No. 2019/012

NUS Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law Working Paper 19/02

31 Pages Posted: 14 May 2019 Last revised: 16 May 2019

See all articles by Beatriz Garcia

Beatriz Garcia

Western Sydney University

Mandy Meng Fang

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (APCEL)

Jolene Lin

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 13, 2019

Abstract

Marine plastics pollution (MPP) is an alarming problem affecting many countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, and generated mostly from land-based sources. Five Asian countries (i.e. China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka) have been identified as the largest sources of MPP globally. This article presents two cases studies focused on the two largest polluters: China and Indonesia. Both countries face similar challenges in dealing with plastic pollution. They have weak legal and institutional frameworks in place to deal with MPP. The two case studies also show that there have been more creative and effective measures taken at the domestic level by local governments and non-state actors, many of which involve partnerships among different stakeholders. This article argues that governance efforts to address MPP require an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach, involving a multi-level and multi-actor strategy and targeted regulatory (and non-regulatory) measures. However, our findings also suggest that most efforts should be at the subnational level, where the problem is mainly originated. This article proposes a number of policy recommendations, based on the lessons learned from the case studies, which can be instrumental in reducing the global MPP crisis.

Keywords: marine plastics, oceans, land-based pollution, sub-national governments, NGOs, private sector, Asia-Pacific region

Suggested Citation

Garcia, Beatriz and Fang, Mandy Meng and Lin, Jolene, All Hands on Deck: Addressing the Global Marine Plastics Pollution Crisis in Asia (May 13, 2019). Forthcoming, Chinese Journal of Environmental Law Volume 3(1); NUS Law Working Paper No. 2019/012; NUS Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law Working Paper 19/02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3387269 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3387269

Beatriz Garcia

Western Sydney University ( email )

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith, NSW 2751
Australia

Mandy Meng Fang (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (APCEL) ( email )

259776
Singapore

Jolene Lin

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

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