In the first annual update of Annual Trends in Plastics Policy, Nicholas Institute researchers find that plastics policy enactment continues to surge and was not negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To better gauge policy implementation, researchers established a new effectiveness policy library to accompany the 2022 update. These studies indicate that, while underused in existing policy, greater governmental use of economic instruments (e.g., taxes, fees, levies) and information instruments (e.g., awareness campaigns to communicate other instruments to the public, education initiatives, etc.) would aid in enacting effective policies in the future.
Voluntary Commitments Made by the World’s Largest Companies Focus on Recycling and Packaging Over Other Actions to Address the Plastics Crisis
In a study published by the journal One Earth, Duke experts share findings from an examination of the types of commitments that corporations have made to address global plastic pollution. The authors find that, rather than tackle virgin plastics, most companies target packaging and general plastics and frequently emphasize recycling-related efforts. While many large and important companies are making commitments, significantly more efforts beyond plastic recycling are required to effectively address plastic pollution challenges.
Governments worldwide are increasingly adopting public policies, laws, and ordinances to reduce plastic pollution. To date, studies have not analyzed the content of, and trends in, these policies. Employing a content analysis and literature search, we set out to better understand: (i) governments responses to this problem over time, and (ii) the state of the available evidence on the effectiveness of policy responses.
A snapshot of the economic benefits from foreign bottom trawling in coastal West Africa: A mutually-beneficial trade in services, no winners or extractivism?
Large-scale fishing effort in the waters of tropical and lower income countries is predominantly driven by ‘distant water fishing fleets’ often owned by companies based in a small number of countries and has been associated with a range of negative environmental and social outcomes. West Africa is an example where such fleets are a dominant feature. In the waters of Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana, 75% of all licensed bottom trawl vessels in 2017 either registered (‘flagged’) or largely owned in China.
Ocean conservation and sustainable use cannot be pursued or achieved without consideration of the planetary impacts of climate change, and particularly the role of the oceans in both mitigation and adaptation. For this reason, the international community has increasingly committed to providing aid to help finance public goods for ocean conservation and climate action. Although many organizations have set up mechanisms to track both aid and climate finance, such trackers are usually not focused on financial flows related to ocean conservation and climate action.
Combatting Illegal Fishing through Transparency Initiatives: Lessons Learned from Comparative Analysis of Transparency Initiatives in Seafood, Apparel, Extractive, and Timber Supply Chains
Over the last two decades, efforts to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing have led to an expansion of initiatives to enhance transparency across the seafood industry through international agreements, national government regulations, and voluntary private initiatives. Understanding of the effects of these initiatives remains limited, and approaches contested among stakeholders.
The ocean economy is growing, as commercial use of the ocean accelerates, while progress toward achieving international goals for ocean conservation and sustainability is lagging. In this context, the private sector is increasingly recognized as having the capacity to hamper efforts to achieve aspirations of sustainable ocean-based development or alternatively to bend current trajectories of ocean use by taking on the mantle of corporate biosphere stewardship. Here, we identify levels of industry concentration to assess where this capacity rests.
Initial Measures of the Economic Activity Linked to Bangladesh’s Ocean Space, and Implications for the Country’s Blue Economy Policy Objectives
The Government of Bangladesh resolved its maritime boundaries in 2014, resulting in jurisdiction over ocean space equivalent to 80 percent of the country’s terrestrial area. To encourage the development of this area and the resources it contains, the Government embraced the concept of a “blue economy” in its most recent development plan, as a broad label for all ocean-linked economic activities that are environmentally and socially sustainable.
Plastic pollution in the ocean is a global problem that requires cooperation from a wide range of groups (e.g., governments, producers, consumers, researchers, civil society). This study aims to synthesize the policy response of governments to the global plastic pollution problem, as a basis for more rigorous monitoring of progress (as called for in Resolution 4/6 of the 2019 United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) meeting) and to inform future public policies.
The loss of blue carbon ecosystems results in significant levels of carbon emissions and decreased supply of other ecosystem services. This study aims to provide a first step toward increasing the knowledge of the region’s blue carbon stocks, with a focus on mangroves, and of their financial value based on their carbon storage benefit alone.