Today an estimated 60% of plastic marine debris derives from urban centers , as polluted waterways carry plastic pollution to the ocean. Nearly half of all plastic products were in fact produced after the year 2000 . This issue is only decades old, yet over 75% of all plastic ever produced is already waste .
While cities will rapidly increase their population densities to account for two-thirds of the global population by 2050 , they must also continue to adopt smart solutions that reduce the collective impact of their prospering communities. On plastic, this means preventing, minimizing and managing plastic, both as a resource, and as a global threat to our oceans. Plastic Smart Cities is the knowledge sharing platform on plastic. It is the place for collaboration, one where stakeholders can learn from the world's premier experts, where they can engage Best Practices and connect with solution providers.
We encourage you to explore our growing catalogue of Best Practices, as categorized in the following six collections: Financial Instruments, Prevention, Collection, Reuse, Recycling and Disposal. These collections are aligned with the internationally recognized Waste Hierarchy, with Prevention as a first priority placed at the top of the hierarchy, and with Disposal at the bottom of the hierarchy, considered only as a last resort.
Plastic Smart Cities are committed to implementing global Best Practices that prevent, minimize and manage plastic, both as a resource, and as a waste. Cities and Tourist Destinations that join the Plastic Smart Cities initiative make the following commitments:
1. Sign a declaration of intent, committing to No Plastic in Nature by 2030; 2. Develop an action plan within 6-months and launch a pilot within a designated area with a goal to reduce plastic pollution by 30% within two-years; 3. Appoint an in-house staff member to lead the initiative in their City or Tourist Destination; and 4. Develop a monitoring plan that establishes baselines and annual targets, and share progress as part of their existing sustainability reporting.
WWF’s Plastic Smart Cities initiative and UN-Habitat’s Waste Wise Cities campaign have also partnered to help build the capacity of cities to eliminate plastic pollution by 2030. Explore the map below to learn more about how these Cities and Tourist Destinations are leading the global charge on plastics. You can also learn more about the WWF - UN partnership here.
The amount of plastic entering the ocean is projected to grow four-fold by 2050. Transformative changes, including moving away from single-use towards re-useable packaging, are needed to save our oceans, say Vincent Kneefel and John Duncan.