Publication: « Future Projections of Global Plastic Pollution: Scenario Analyses and Policy Implications »

Huijie Yan, Mateo Cordier, Takuro Uehara. Future Projections of Global Plastic Pollution: Scenario Analyses and Policy Implications. Sustainability, 2024, 16 (2), pp.643. ⟨10.3390/su16020643⟩⟨hal-04430630⟩

Plastic pollution has attracted the attention of the media, public, and government worldwide. Analysis of the inverted U-shaped environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) relationship between economic development and plastic pollution is crucial because economic growth is a critical driver of plastic pollution. In this study, for the first time, we (i) used the stochastic impacts of regression on population, affluence, and technology (STIRPAT) model to investigate the EKC relationship; (ii) performed a comprehensive analysis of the effects of sociodemographic factors on plastic pollution; and (iii) used a panel dataset of 128 countries for empirical analyses. The STIRPAT model was used to conduct scenario analyses to explore the impacts of sociodemographic driving forces on future plastic pollution by 2050 on a national (217 countries) and global scale. The empirical results confirmed the EKC relationship and revealed that changes in population structure and urbanization could substantially affect plastic pollution. Global plastic pollution was projected to reach 66.1 MT/y by 2050 under the business-as-usual scenario. Low-income countries and sub-Saharan Africa are projected to become major contributors to plastic pollution, leading to a global trend of increasing plastic pollution. These findings will help policymakers identify targets to effectively reduce future global plastic pollution.

Open access