Exploring the potential for adopting alternative materials to reduce marine plastic litter

This report presents a range of alternative approaches and materials that have the potential for reducing our use of plastics for a range of common applications

The report titled, ‘Exploring the Potential for Adopting Alternative Materials to Reduce Marine Plastic Litter’ assesses the potential of replacing conventional plastics with alternative materials. The report argues that plastics provide essential uses in some situations, especially the medical field. In other areas, such as consumer products, natural and alternative materials can be used instead of disposable plastic. Conventional alternatives to plastics include cotton, paper and wood. Other suggested alternatives include algae, fungi and pineapple leaves. The report features 25 case studies from around the world on reducing dependence on plastic. These case studies underscore how a more sustainable approach to plastic can contribute to several SDGs, including SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (sustainable consumption and production), SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land). According to the report, 13 targets from these five SDGs are particularly relevant to reducing plastic waste in the ocean. Other SDG targets – on tenure of land and natural resources, access to environmentally sound technologies, entrepreneurship, small and medium sized business development and access to advice and financial support (targets 1.4, 8.3, 9.3 and 9.4) – relate to the promotion of alternatives to conventional plastics.

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