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Sustainable Consumption and Production of Plastics

Reducing and avoiding plastics can make a big contribution to reduce plastic waste. Products can for example be designed in a way, that they use less packaging or that they can be reused and recycled. To think about reusable or degradable alternatives is therefore a task for businesses, but also for consumers. The latter for example have the choice to refuse too much packaging, move to more sustainable or reusable alternatives or bring their own bag, cup or cutlery.

Especially single-use plastic consumption of items like cups, plastic bags and straws is rapidly increasing, mainly in food packaging for better transportation and durability. Plastic packaging supports “on-the-go” lifestyles with ready-made meals and single-use plastic items for takeaway. Recently, plastics in food delivery, takeaway and online commerce saw an additional rise due to COVID-19 related closures and distancing measures. At the same time however, single-use plastics cause environmental pollution. They are only used once for a relatively short period of time before they are thrown away, where they often land in the environment.

‘Rethinking Plastics’ encourages exchange and pilot activities on sustainable consumption and production of plastics and supports reduction and reuse approaches to prevent plastic waste from ending up in the environment and in the ocean.


Plastics make up 85% of beach litter;
single use items represent 61%
and fishing related items 20% of these plastic items.

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