NEW REPORT: Communities on the Frontlines of the Global Plastic Crisis

When China took action to protect its borders from foreign plastic pollution by effectively shutting its doors to plastic waste imports in the beginning of 2018, it threw the global plastic recycling industry into chaos.

Wealthy countries had grown accustomed to exporting their plastic problems, with little thought or effort to ensure that the plastic they were exporting got recycled and did not harm other countries. North Americans and Europeans exported not just their plastic waste, but the pollution that went with getting rid of it. 

This report continues GAIA’s research on the effects of China’s National Sword policy and the broader implications of plastic pollution as the world attempts to adjust to a new landscape of global plastic recycling. As the crisis deepens, this report focuses on three countries in Southeast Asia, and particularly the stories of people on the ground who have been thrust to the frontlines of the world’s plastic problem.

Download the Report or visit the online version “Waste Trade Stories.”