The Life Cycle Initiative’s Llorenç Milà i Canals contributed to a lively event co-hosted by UNEP, the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam and the FlipFlopi project, on Preventing Plastic Pollution. The role of LCA in informing policies to prevent plastic pollution was the key topic of the Initiative’s presentation, based on the latest reports published in our website. In the event, ongoing and forthcoming actions by the Government of Tanzania were also shared, as well as the approach and support from the European Union in this domain towards a circular economy. IUCN’s Peter Manyara also shared the latest country report of the National Guidance for Plastics Pollution Hotspotting applied to Tanzania, which will be soon uploaded in our website. The government highlighted the need to work strongly on education and behaviour change, as well as on enforcing the legislation to extend producers’ responsibility.

The event concluded after very active interaction with the audience with a clear call for action- “We have enough information to act and we need to act now”. Specific take away action points included:

  • Eliminating unnecessary and single use of plastic products; move away from the linear “take-make-dispose” economy to a new “circular” plastic economy where plastic never becomes waste; focusing on reduce, reuse and recycling
  • Promoting innovations for recycling and replacing plastic products that would end as plastic waste – this would also enhance job creation for youth and increase income
  • Increasing capacity for proper waste disposal, including segregation/separation of waste to support the recycling efforts
  • Promoting behavioral change and sustainable lifestyles
  • Enhancing availability of data such as plastic leakage to marine environment in Tanzania, for the needed policy advice and informed decision making

The metrics provided by the LCA-based hotspots analysis are extremely useful to look at the problem from a systemic point of view and ensure that we progress in the right direction. The importance of partnerships with all stakeholders such as the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment was also highlighted to ensure that all actors push towards the same vision.