Limiting plastic waste imports not top priority for Asian consumers or businesses


A United Nations survey has found that limiting plastic waste imports is not one of the top priorities for Asian consumers and businesses.

Instead, they want their own governments to prioritise better collection and recycling systems.


The survey was undertaken by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Food Industry Asia (FIA) and involved questioning consumers and food and beverage businesses in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam about their attitudes to plastic waste.

Both consumers and businesses were given a choice of 10 measures and asked to rank them.

For consumers in the countries, the top ranking measure they wanted to see was ‘Mandate consumer waste segregation’ followed by ‘Enhance collection systems’ and then ‘Impose littering fines and consumer charges’.

A suggested measure to ‘Limit plastic waste imports’ was only sixth on the list.

For food and beverage businesses, ‘Provide information to consumers’ was top, followed by ‘Mandate consumer waste segregation’ and ‘Develop labels’.

‘Limit plastic waste imports’ was seventh on the businesses list.

A graphic from the study showing the priorities of consumers and food and beverage businesses in the five countries

FIA executive director Matt Kovac said: “As the surveys show, many more businesses need to join platforms to scale up efforts. Policies, projects and funds must work concurrently, as must key actors across the plastics value-chain to build a multi-stakeholder approach that enables businesses, consumers and governments to find ways to create circular approaches to plastics.”

View the full report here

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