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Event - Climate Change

Workshop on “Costs of Inaction and Action for Plastic Pollution”

01 Feb 2024
8:30am - 5:00pm

 “Costs of Inaction and Action for Plastic Pollution” hybrid workshop is a step toward increasing awareness of the costs of inaction and acting against plastic pollution, to accelerate support for decision-making and implementation from policymakers and stakeholders. This workshop is jointly organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) under a Japan-funded project, addressing Plastic Pollution in Mekong, and Pacific regions.


Plastic pollution has emerged as a formidable threat to global health, ecosystems, and economies,  necessitating immediate and decisive action. The surge in plastic production, from a mere 2 million tonnes  in 1950 to a staggering 460 million tonnes in 2019, has led to an overwhelming accumulation of waste,  particularly in marine environments. Approximately 7 billion tons of the 9.5 billion tons produced in this period  have been discarded, with single-use plastics constituting up to half of the annual production. The oceans  bear the brunt of this crisis, currently holding between 75 and 199 million tons of plastic waste, with an  additional 33 billion pounds added each year. This situation is exacerbated by the lifecycle of plastics,  encompassing extraction, design, consumption, and disposal practices, all contributing to the broader triple  planetary crisis of climate disruption, biodiversity loss, and pollution. 

Addressing this crisis requires a nuanced understanding of the costs associated with both action and  inaction the report of “the Cost of Inaction1” by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The  report aligns with the vision of the 2012 United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Global  Sustainability2, advocating for a transparent evaluation of the economic, social, and environmental  implications of sustainable development initiatives. The urgency of the situation is underscored by the UN  Secretary-General’s call for ambitious action to tackle the triple planetary crisis. Despite ongoing research  and advancements in understanding the impacts of plastic pollution, including the pervasive issue of  microplastics, many effects remain unquantified and disproportionately affect vulnerable populations. The  complexity of impact assessment, coupled with the urgency of the situation, necessitates immediate  decision-making based on the best available data, recognizing that the full extent of plastic pollution’s  consequences may never be fully quantified. 

Date: Thursday, 1 February 2024

Time: 8.45 – 17.00 hrs. (Bangkok time)

Venue: The Sukosol Hotel Bangkok, Kamolmart room 6th floor, 477 Si Ayuthaya Road, Phayathai, Bangkok  (Hybrid)

Register Here: Link