In response to the request by Member States at the Fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly in March 2019, the report “Addressing Single-Use Plastic Products Pollution using a Life Cycle Approach” describes:
- actions taken by Member States to address single-use plastic products (SUPP) pollution and
- a summary of recommendations from a series of LCA meta-studies on the full lifecycle environmental impacts of single-use plastic products in comparison with their alternatives.
A critical finding, of this work is that “single-use” is more problematic than “plastic”. Member States are encouraged to support, promote and incentivize actions that lead to keeping resources in the economy at their highest value for as long as possible, by replacing single-use plastic products with reusable products as part of a circular economy approach. This will require systems change.