OECD work on plastics

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's work on plastics seeks to inform and support these efforts.

Monitoring trade in plastic waste and scrap

This new OECD Environment Working Paper is the fourth in a series to track trends in international trade of plastic waste and scrap. 

The 2024 edition of Monitoring trade in plastic waste and scrap evaluates the current situation with newly available data from 2022.

Additionally, for the first time this report compiles submissions by OECD member countries on the volume of their trade subject to enhanced controls put in place in 2021, which aim to enhance quality by subjecting some previously commonly traded plastics to the prior informed consent procedure. 

Towards Eliminating Plastic Pollution by 2040: Policy Scenario Analysis

This report outlines the prerequisites needed to curb plastic pollution. Across four scenarios, the interim report considers the economic and environmental implications of varying levels of international co-ordination, policy stringency, and timelines for action.

Read the Interim findings: Towards Eliminating Plastic Pollution by 2040: A Policy Scenario Analysis released on 10 November 2023 prior to the Third Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on plastic pollution (INC-3).

For more information, please consult the Supplementary Information to the Interim Findings of the OECD report.

Global Plastics Outlook: Policy Scenarios to 2060

Global Plastics Outlook: Drivers, Impacts and Policy Options

What do the data tell us?

More resources

Browse the list of News releases, OECD reports, Policy briefs and Working papers, Environment Focus blog including events.