Risk management of chemicals

Global Forum on Environment: Plastics in a Circular Economy


Dates and location

Recycled Plastic Bottle Caps Jiri Vaclavek Shutterstock 10401473629-31 May 2018 - Copenhagen, Denmark

This OECD Global Forum will be seeking to incentivise a shift in sustainable chemistry thinking at the product design stage by identifying good practices, including tools and approaches, as well as a policy framework to reduce the environmental and health plastics impacts.

Global plastics production has reached 311 million metric tons and is expected to continue to grow by around 4% annually for the foreseeable future. While plastic deliver many benefits to society, there is an increasing awareness of the potential impact of chemical components of plastics on human health and the environment.

Programme (participation by invitation only)

Opening: Introductory High Level Session

  1. Setting the scene by providing an overview of the role of plastics for sustainable development, of the key polymers and additives that are currently in use, as well as the key challenges that occur at the design stage from a sustainability point of view and that affect different life-cycle stages, including end-of-life.

  2. Providing examples of companies embracing sustainable plastics design who have addressed a particular challenge with respect to chemicals/polymers and plastics by targeting the design stage.

  3. Defining 'sustainability' from a chemicals perspective and evaluating sustainability claims.

  4. Identifying key tools and approaches that support sustainable plastics design, as well as important gaps that would need to be addressed and the challenges that exist for considering alternative or new polymers and additives during the product design stage.

  5. Discussing and shaping policy approaches to incentivise sustainable chemical thinking at the design stage. It would include perspectives from government, the private sector and civil society about the most promising policy initiatives.

Global Forum Materials (FORTHCOMING)



Background speakers

Related OECD Work


For more information, please contact our experts from the OECD Environment Directorate:


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