Editorial: The sustainability series: the plastics problem - investigating socio-economic dimensions of plastic pollution - Cultures, Environnements, Arctique, Représentations, Climat Access content directly
Journal Articles Frontiers in Sustainability Year : 2023

Editorial: The sustainability series: the plastics problem - investigating socio-economic dimensions of plastic pollution

Takuro Uehara
  • Function : Author
Bethany Jorgensen
  • Function : Author

Abstract

There is agreed scientific evidence that the plastic problem must be solved. Cumulative production of plastic since the inception of mass production after the second world war is estimated to be 9544 million metric tons (Mt), produced between 1950 and 2019, and more than 7000 Mt of plastic waste has been generated over that period. Primarily because of river discharge and mismanaged waste, plastic waste enters the ocean, leading to marine plastic pollution, one of the problems with plastic taking most attention. There have been growing publications on model simulations studying the way plastic pollution could change in the long run under different scenarios. While there are variations in their approaches and results, all these publications conclude that plastic waste will increase in the next decades if no changes are made to the current trend. They also all conclude that an unprecedented and significant effort is required to reduce the amount of plastic waste accumulation. It requires system change, transforming the global plastic economy, or combining solutions. Furthermore, technological solutions will not be enough to solve the plastics problem, and it is urgent to act on non-technological solutions, among them by changing people's behavior in waste management and waste prevention. The four articles in this Research Topic highlight the importance of socio-economic dimensions of plastic pollution from various perspectives.
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hal-04154789 , version 1 (07-07-2023)

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Takuro Uehara, Bethany Jorgensen, Mateo Cordier, Juan Baztan. Editorial: The sustainability series: the plastics problem - investigating socio-economic dimensions of plastic pollution. Frontiers in Sustainability, 2023, 4, ⟨10.3389/frsus.2023.1209626⟩. ⟨hal-04154789⟩
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