Global Plastics Outlook

Global plastics production has grown relentlessly in recent decades. Plastics help us preserve food, insulate constructions, use electronics and make vehicles more fuel-efficient, among other things. Yet, the sheer magnitude of plastics consumption in our societies results in a high production-related carbon footprint, high volumes of waste, persistent pollution and harm to wildlife and ecosystem.

In recent years, growing awareness of ubiquitous plastic pollution has steered public opinion and paved the way for stronger policy intervention on this front. The OECD Global Plastics Outlook reports seek to inform and support these efforts.

Global Plastics Outlook Policy Scenarios to 2060

The Global Plastics Outlook: Policy Scenarios to 2060, the second of two reports, provides a set of coherent projections on plastics to 2060, including plastics use and waste as well as the environmental impacts. Through a series of policy packages to bend the plastic curve, the Outlook demonstrates the environmental benefits and economic consequences of adopting more stringent policies.


Policy Highlights Global Plastics Outlook Policy Scenarios to 2060

News release: Global plastic waste set to almost triple by 2060  | 3 June 2022

The Policy Highlights from the second report Global Plastics Outlook: Policy Scenarios to 2060 provides a summary of the key findings and messages, alongside some of the most important charts and figures.

Policy scenarios to bend the plastics curve

While with business-as-usual, global plastics use, waste and related environmental damages are projected to increase by 2060, timely and ambitious policies can drastically reduce future environmental damages and in particular plastic leakage to the environment. The level of ambition of the policies and of international engagement will determine the extent to which plastic pollution is reduced.

The Global Plastics Outlook compares two policy scenarios with different levels of stringency.
The Regional Action policy scenario reflects regionally differentiated engagement, with more ambitious targets for OECD countries than for non-OECD countries, while the Global Ambition policy scenario explores a very stringent policy package that aims to reduce plastic leakage to near zero by 2060 globally.

 

What do the data tell us?

Drivers, impacts and policy options

The first of two reports, the Global Plastics Outlook: Economic Drivers, Environmental Impacts and Policy Options is the first report to comprehensively take stock of current plastics production, use and waste generation, uncover the underlying economic drivers and map the related environmental impacts on a global level. The report also identifies four key levers that are essential to bend the plastics curve: markets for recycled (secondary) plastics, technological innovation in plastics, domestic policy measures and international co-operation, including international financing.


Cover Policy Highlights Global Plastics Outlook ENG

The Policy Highlights from the first report Global Plastics Outlook: Economic Drivers, Environmental Impacts and Policy Options provides a summary of the key findings and messages, alongside some of the most important charts and figures.

This interactive data dashboard by country, provides a snapshot on the full lifecycle of plastics across the world: production, use, waste generation, waste management, waste generation and waste management, including waste that is mismanaged or leaked to the environment.

More resources

Browse other OECD reports, Policy briefs and Working papers related to plastics.