OUR PUBLICATIONS

REGIONAL PLASTICS VALUE CHAINS

ABOUT THE REGIONAL REPORT SERIES FOR THE WORLD BANK GROUP

Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines are grappling with a serious plastic pollution challenge. Home to thousands of islands and sweeping coastlines, their rich marine ecosystems and blue economies are vulnerable to the pollution, declining biodiversity and natural resource depletion caused by growing urbanisation and mismanaged plastic waste.

 

We were selected by The World Bank Group to develop a series of studies that address the critical need for country specific market assessments of plastics recycling in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. These studies engaged key stakeholders across the value chain, compile baseline data, develop material flow analyses, identify plastic recycling barriers and opportunities, and develop actionable recommendations.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“Southeast Asian countries lose out on as much as $6 billion a year as most of their single-use plastics are thrown out rather than recovered and recycled, the World Bank said in a new study. More than 75% of recyclable plastics in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines are left to waste, representing a “significant untapped business opportunity” in the circular economy”

– “World Bank Sees $6 Billion Wasted on Southeast Asia Plastics”, March 2021, Bloomberg

THAILAND REPORT

This study assesses Thailand’s plastics recycling industry and its role in supporting a circular economy. One its key findings is that Thailand recycled just 17.6% of key plastic resins in 2018, falling short of the National Plastic Waste Management Roadmap 2018-2030 target of 22%. 87% of the material value of plastics in Thailand – approximately US$3.6 billion per year – is lost when 2.88 million tonnes are discarded rather than recycled into valuable materials.

 

The report identifies major challenges, market drivers and opportunities for scaling-up recycling efforts via targeted public and private sector interventions.

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VIETNAM REPORT

This study assesses Vietnam’s plastics recycling industry and its role in supporting a circular economy. One its key findings is that Vietnam recycled about 33% of key plastics resins in 2019. About 75% of the material value of the key plastics resins – approximately US$2.2 billion to US$2.9 billion per year – is lost in Vietnam when 2.62 million tonnes are disposed of annually rather than recycled into valuable materials.

 

The report identifies major challenges, market drivers and opportunities for scaling-up recycling efforts via targeted public and private sector interventions.

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MALAYSIA REPORT

This study assesses Malaysia’s plastics recycling industry and its role in supporting a circular economy. One its key findings is that Malaysia recycled just 24% of key plastic resins in 2019 and is not on track to meet the JPSPN (National Solid Waste Management Department) recycling target of 40% by 2025. Because of various systemic and market challenges, only 19% of the total material value or $US 234 million per year is currently unlocked.

 

The report identifies major challenges, market drivers and opportunities for scaling-up recycling efforts via targeted public and private sector interventions.

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PHILIPPINES REPORT

This study assesses the Philippines’ plastics recycling industry and its role in supporting a circular economy. One its key findings is that the Philippines recycled just 28% of key plastic resins in 2019. 78% of the material value of the key plastic resins– upwards of US$890 million per year – is lost in the Philippines when recyclable plastic products are discarded rather than recycled into valuable materials. The Philippines had a large recycling capacity gap of 85% in 2019 (compared to Malaysia and Thailand across all four resins) and is a net exporter of plastic scrap.

 

The report identifies major challenges, market drivers and opportunities for scaling-up recycling efforts via targeted public and private sector interventions.

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CIRCULAR ECONOMY

ABOUT THE REPORT

We were commissioned by Coca-Cola to analyse the status quo of PET bottle collection for recycling across six countries in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia). Five of the six countries studied are among the top ten global contributors to ocean plastic leakage. The report provided, for the first time, systematic and comparable baseline collection rates for PET bottles in Southeast Asia and highlighted the need for a fundamental shift in the approach to driving circularity.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“The report delivers a first-of-its-kind analysis of collection-for-recycling rates for PET plastic in key ASEAN cities and frames up a circular economy roadmap for post-consumer PET plastic packaging specifically tailored for the region, with a concrete set of recommendations geared towards interventions with the highest impact. At Coca-Cola, we are committed to executing these recommendations with our partners, and we have already begun to move in earnest. It is our hope that this report also helps to drive broader understanding, coordination and momentum in our shared efforts to tackle marine plastic pollution in Southeast Asia and globally”

 

– Michael Goltzman, Vice President of Global Policy and Sustainability at The Coca-Cola Company.

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POLICY

ABOUT THE REPORT

In collaboration with the UN Environment Programme, GA Circular worked on a report, titled ‘The Role of Packaging Regulations and Standards in Driving the Circular Economy’. This study reviews the regulatory landscape in each of the ten ASEAN countries when compared against the backdrop of global best practices and the national and local efforts to address the issue of packaging

 

It also explores the role that policy interventions can play in addressing the growing environmental challenges posed by packaging and packaging waste.

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CIRCULAR ECONOMY

ABOUT THE REPORT

Amcor, among the top five largest packaging companies in the world by revenue, is mostly involved in flexible and rigid plastic packaging for the food and beverage sector. In 2016, it had a revenue of USD 9.4 billion, 68% of which came from flexible packaging. We were commissioned by them to analyse the challenges and opportunities for collection and circularity of post-consumer flexible packaging in Asia. The report:

  • details waste collection and management chain in three main markets, India, Indonesia and the Philippines
  • presents 12 collection initiatives across the three countries to identify key success factors and
  • delves into new processing technologies for post-consumer flexibles that will increase its applications and end uses

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“The report revealed that greater interventions are required to address increasing post-consumer flexible packaging waste in Asia… effort must include a multi-stakeholder approach including participation from local government, embrace source segregation, support material recovery facilities and, ensure a financially viable end solution” Packaging Business Review

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GENDER

ABOUT THE REPORT

Ocean Conservancy works together with their partners to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. For more than 40 years, Ocean Conservancy has championed science-based solutions to protect ocean ecosystems. Their work guides policy and engages people in protecting the ocean, its wildlife, and communities that depend on it.
This report has been produced through funding from the Global Environment Facility as part of the project “Addressing Marine Plastics—A Systemic Approach” that is implemented by UN Environment in partnership with Ocean Conservancy, the New Plastics Economy Initiative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and GRID Arendal (GEF Project ID No. 9681).

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