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Closing the Loop


The Closing the loop Logo




An ESCAP led project, supported by the Government of Japan to address the global issue of plastic waste leaking into the marine environment from cities in Asia and the Pacific


Measuring Plastic Waste from Land to Sea



Watch and learn how Closing the Loop measures plastic waste using a new Plastic Pollution Calculator that tells us about the volumes, types and locations of plastic litter.



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Monitoring Plastic Leakage and Movement


Watch and learn how Closing the Loop tracks marine plastic litter using state-of-the-art technologies to create baseline reports and maps identifying hotspots in the waste supply chain.



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Taking Action Against Marine Plastic Litter


Watch and learn how Closing the Loop uses innovative practices to help develop effective city-wide action plans to end plastics leaking into our waterways for good.



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The Problem

Over 11 million tons of plastic waste enters our oceans every year, and Asia Pacific countries contribute to over half of land-based sources of marine plastic pollution. Fast-growing cities with underdeveloped waste management systems in the region are to blame for as much as 60% of plastic waste leakage into the environment.

Up to 75% of land-based sources of marine plastic pollution come from uncollected waste, and 25% comes from leakages in the municipal waste management systems. Up to 95% of riverine plastic pollution is transported by just ten major rivers, eight of which are in Asia. As plastic waste moves through waterways, it endangers marine ecosystems and wildlife and local livelihoods. Plastic pollution is a transboundary issue in need of a regional response and cooperative action plans.



The Solution

Closing the Loop aims to make the use and management of plastic more circular to increase the recovery rate and reduce the leakage of plastics into the marine environment, supporting the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals 11, 12 and 14.



Image of SDG Goal 11

Image of SDG Goal 12

Image of SDG Goal 14