What is the Global Plastics Policy Centre?

The Global Plastics Policy Centre is a Flotilla Foundation funded platform and initiative designed to provide independent analysis of plastics policies. By providing reviews of a variety of policy types, we are able to offer recommendations and the evidence base required to pursue more effective policy making. We are made up of a team of researchers and analysts at the University of Portsmouth’s Revolution Plastics Institute. Find out more on the About page.

How is the Global Plastics Policy Centre funded? 

The Global Plastics Policy Centre is funded by the University of Portsmouth, and the Flotilla Foundation.

What are the global policy reviews?

To understand what makes plastic policy effective, 100 different policies that addressed plastic were identified. These policies included: 

Legally binding policies

  • bans on plastic bags
  • bans on single use plastic products (SUPPs)
  • taxes on plastic products
  • recycling regulations
  • extended producer accountability

Voluntary policies

  • industry commitments 
  • affirmative action
  • information instruments
  • plastic pacts

These policies were then reviewed against a set of criteria to establish what made them effective or ineffective. For more information see our Methods page.

How are the policies reviewed? 

The policies were compared against a framework composed of 45 reference statements. These reference statements looked at: 

  • The performance of each policy against its own objectives; 
  • The extent to which each policy reduced plastic pollution regardless of the stated purpose of the policy; and
  • The factors contributing to policy effectiveness.

For more information see our Methods page.

What about the countries that haven’t been reviewed?

This is just the start of the Global Plastics Policy Centre, and more policies will be added in time, with various focuses. However, for this first review, policies were chosen specifically from different contexts. This includes location, when they were created, and the development state in which they were created. 

Why are policies reviewed in isolation?

Policies were reviewed in isolation because in most cases in the existing policy landscape, policies are implemented in isolation as independent policies. Where possible, other policies which might have influenced the outcomes identified in the evidence, were taken into account.

How can I use this information?

This review was created to inform action at all scales- what makes a policy effective, and what doesn’t. You can review the findings from our 2022 Report to understand what makes a policy effective, and what lessons can be applied to future action and policy. 

This information and key enablers of effective policy can more specifically be used in the following ways:

  • It can help a country or business shape its approach to tackling issues associated with plastic pollution by assessing the key components relevant to their context, and developing measures that account for these factors and generating an enabling environment for the intervention’s success.
  • These findings can help countries or large corporations respond to the requirements of the upcoming global treaty to end plastic pollution. Furthermore, these findings can inform the global treaty negotiation process.
  • The enablers identified can be used for modelling processes that map how policy interventions might affect the flow of plastics. The presence or absence of factors that enable effective policies, as well as varying degrees of policy coherence and compliance, can generate insights into the potential effects of different combinations of interventions.
The results of one of your reviews could be updated, how do I submit further evidence?

We’re always looking to ensure our reviews are based on the best available evidence. Please contact us at globalplastics@port.ac.uk if you have a further evidence to submit, or if you have any questions about how you can contribute.