The role of development co-operation in tackling plastic pollution: key trends, instruments, and opportunities to scale up action

Plastics leakage to the ocean and, more broadly, the environment has become a pressing issue for many developing countries. While a number of development co-operation initiatives with a focus on tackling plastic pollution have recently emerged, there is currently no comprehensive assessment of the volume and scope of international development co-operation in this area. This report contributes to fill this gap by bringing together OECD’s unique statistical sources and expertise. The report fulfils three main objectives. First, the report assesses the scale of the plastic pollution problem in developing countries including by providing evidence on developing countries’ plastic use, waste, and leakage volumes, identifying plastic pollution main drivers, and assessing the specificity of plastics-related economic and environmental impacts in developing countries. Secondly, it quantifies development co-operation support in this area through a refined methodology developed as part of the OECD Sustainable Ocean for All Initiative. This includes presenting development finance trends in relation to both bilateral and multilateral providers of development co-operation and both their concessional and non-concessional flows. Finally, the report presents innovative development co-operation approaches that could be further developed, including financial mechanisms and approaches that are helping developing countries to scale up financing and impact of waste management projects with the support of development finance.