Critical Environmental Growing Plastic Waste Crisis Assignment Sample

Analysis of the UK's Critical Environmental Growing Plastic Waste Crisis Assignment

  • 54000+ Project Delivered
  • 500+ Experts 24x7 Online Help
  • No AI Generated Content
- +
35% Off
£ 6.69
Estimated Cost
£ 4.35
25 Pages 6192Words

Introduction Of Critical Environmental Growing Plastic Waste Crisis

Brief overview of the plastic waste problem in the UK

In the UK, plastic trash has grown to be a serious environmental problem with detrimental impacts on ecosystems and human health. The UK produced more than 4.9 million metric tonnes of plastic garbage in 2019 alone, or nearly 73 kg per person. Sadly, only 9% of this plastic garbage was recycled; the remaining was either dumped in landfills or littered (OCED, 2022).According to research by UNEP , this has had catastrophic effects on marine life, with an estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the world's seas (UNEP, 2023). The UK government has implemented measures including a fee on plastic bags and a ban on microbeads after realising the gravity of the problem. From 2050, there may be more plastic in the seas than fish. This emphasises the critical requirement for efficient waste management plans and a move towards a circular economy. In order to solve the issue, the UK government has implemented plastic bag fees and banned microbeads. To address this complicated issue, however, extensive and cooperative efforts from business, the public, and the government are required (, 2023).

Feeling overwhelmed with your assignments? Take a breather and let New Assignment Help ease your burden! Our professional team provides unmatched assignment writing services in the UK, guaranteeing academic success. Explore our free assignment samples for inspiration and guidance.

Purpose of the paper

One of the main purposes behind conducting this study is to provide highlight on the topic of plastic waste in UK. The other concept that will be discussed in the study will be related to circular economy that is related to sustainable development. Overall, the study will describe the effect of the circular economy on plastic waste within UK.

Structure of the paper

Overall, the paper has been divided into few major segments that will include

  • Overview of the Plastic Waste in the UK
  • Circular Economy and Plastic Waste
  • Sustainable Development and Plastic Waste
  • Challenges and Opportunities


Overview of the circular economy and its principles

The circular economy is a way of doing business that aims to reduce waste, protect resources, and support sustainable growth. Its guiding concepts centre on preventing waste and pollution via design, preserving materials and goods, and renewing natural systems. The circular economy aims to move away from the traditional linear "take-make-dispose" paradigm and towards a more sustainable strategy that makes efficient and ongoing use of resources (Ekins, et al., 2022). It places a strong emphasis on prolonging product lifecycles, recycling, reusing, and repurposing materials, and supporting renewable energy sources. Societies may lessen their negative effects on the environment, improve resource efficiency, and open up new business opportunities by using circular economy ideas (Geissdoerfer, 2017).

Overview of sustainable development and its goals

A comprehensive strategy known as "sustainable development" strives to satisfy the demands of the present generation without endangering the capacity of future generations to satisfy their own needs. It includes aspects of the economy, society, and environment and places emphasis on how these pillars should be combined for long-term wellbeing. The United Nations created the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guide for international action to solve urgent problems. The SDGs address a number of interrelated challenges, such as eradicating poverty, providing high-quality education, promoting gender equality, using clean energy, creating sustainable cities, promoting responsible consumerism, combating climate change, and protecting biodiversity. Societies aim for a more just, resilient, and ecologically sensitive world by pursuing sustainable development (Jones, 2017).

Overview of the plastic waste problem globally and in the UK

Plastic garbage has grown to be a serious problem on a worldwide scale, having negative effects on both the environment and human health. Over 300 million metric tonnes of plastic garbage are thought to be produced annually on a global scale; by 2030, this amount is predicted to treble. Around 9% of plastic garbage globally gets recycled, which is a very modest percentage. Similar to many other nations, the UK has its own issues with plastic trash. Only 9% of the plastic garbage that the UK produced in 2019—more than 4.9 million metric tonnes, or around 73 kg per person—was recycled. These statistics demonstrate the pressing need for efficient waste management plans and a shift towards a more sustainable strategy (OCED, 2022).

What exactly is the problem of plastic waste in the UK/specific problem

In recent decades, the world has grown to rely heavily on plastics because of their low production costs, high durability, and remarkable adaptability. Today, the world produces over 370 million metric tonnes of plastic annually, a rise of 80% since the turn of the century. However, a significant portion of this is wasted because many plastic items are discarded after a single usage. These frequently wind-up contaminating rivers and seas and harming marine life severely. The bulk of plastic trash in the UK is either littered, harming ecosystems and animals, or it is dumped in landfills, contributing to environmental damage. This emphasises how urgently better waste management systems, more recycling infrastructure, and behavioural changes are required to cut back on plastic usage and encourage appropriate disposal methods (statista, 2022).

Plastic Waste in UK

Sources and types of plastic waste in the UK

In the UK, there are several sources of plastic trash, which includes a variety of polymers. The UK's main plastic waste sources and kinds are listed below:

Waste from packaging: In the UK, packaging is a major source of plastic waste. A sizeable amount of the plastic waste stream is made up of single-use plastics such packaging films, food containers, and plastic bottles (NOC, 2021).

  • Fabrics: Synthetic fabrics, such as nylon and polyester, shed microfibers after washing and add to the plastic pollution in waterways. The UK apparel sector makes a sizable contribution to the plastic trash produced by the textile industry (Schwarz & Ligthart, 2019).
  • Industrial and business waste: Industries and enterprises that produce plastic garbage are responsible for a portion of the world's plastic waste. This comprises plastic sheeting and film used in agriculture, plastic packaging used in logistics and shipping, and plastic parts used in manufacturing (Ilyas, et al., 2018).
  • Consumer goods: Plastic trash also results from a variety of consumer goods, including toothbrushes, shampoo bottles, and cosmetic packaging. Plastic garbage is frequently produced by household items including plastic bags, disposable cutlery, and cleaning solution bottles (Ncube, et al., 2021).
  • Construction trash: Plastic waste is produced in the construction industry as a result of the usage of plastic insulation, pipelines, and packaging. Plastic garbage is produced by construction and demolition projects in the form of packaging waste and plastic debris (Elliott, 2018).
  • Electronic waste: Plastic parts are frequently found in discarded electronic gadgets including computers, appliances, and cell phones. When electronics are disposed away improperly, plastics can enter the environment (Md. Kibria, et al., 2023).
  • Industry of fishing: "Ghost gear," or abandoned or lost fishing nets, ropes, and equipment, causes plastic contamination in marine habitats. Especially in coastal locations, the fishing industry is a significant producer of plastic garbage (Kuciel, 2022).

Figure 1: Sources and types of plastic waste in the UK

SourceSources and types of plastic waste in the UKs and types of plastic waste in the UK

Source: (Created by author, 2022).

Impacts of plastic waste on the environment, economy, and society

Plastic waste has significant impacts on the environment, economy, and society, leading to a range of detrimental consequences:

  • Environmental Impacts: Wildlife and ecosystems are threatened by plastic garbage. Marine creatures frequently confuse plastic garbage for food or become tangled in it, which can result in harm, asphyxia, or even death. The health of aquatic species is also impacted by plastic waste in seas and streams, which also disturbs marine ecosystems. On land, plastic trash poses dangers to plant and animal life by contaminating soil and water supplies (Kumar, 2021).
  • Economic Effects: Plastic trash has a variety of economic effects. The expense of garbage management rises as plastic waste volume rises, burdening taxpayers and municipal governments. The poor perception of contaminated beaches and landscapes might hurt the tourist sector. Plastic garbage may also clog drainage systems and cause floods, which can lead to property damage and infrastructure expenses (Verma, 2021).
  • Communal Impacts: Plastic trash has an impact on human health and wellbeing. Ineffective plastic trash disposal leads to unsightly litter, which reduces the visual attractiveness of neighbourhoods and public places. Since hazardous compounds from plastics may leak into the environment and potentially contaminate water supplies and food chains, plastic pollution also has an impact on public health. Additionally, the demand for sustainable alternatives and changes in consumer behaviour are influenced by the societal perception and knowledge of plastic trash (Helm, 2022).

Coordinated efforts and structural reforms are needed to address the effects of plastic waste. Environmental harm may be reduced, and financial expenses can be decreased, by employing tactics including trash reduction, recycling infrastructure development, and the marketing of reusable alternatives. Furthermore, it is essential to inform the public about the effects of plastic waste and to promote a culture of responsible consumption and trash management (COSTA, 2020).

Current policies and initiatives to address plastic waste in the UK

To reduce plastic waste, the UK government has put in place a number of programmes and legislation. A plastic bag fee was instituted in 2015, which significantly decreased the consumption of single-use plastic bags It has been seen that large stores in England started charging five pence each single-use plastic carrier bag starting on October 5, 2015(OGL, 2015). 2018 saw the implementation of the sale of microbeads in rinse-off personal care products. The government has also pledged to eradicating unnecessary plastic waste by 2042 and is looking into measures like plastic packaging fees and expanded producer responsibility programmes. Additionally, the UK is actively taking part in global initiatives to prevent marine plastic pollution and has endorsed the Ocean Plastics Charter. These actions demonstrate the government's dedication to combating plastic waste and advancing more environmentally friendly methods of consumption and trash disposal(Enhesa, 2023). Some other initiates include :

  • Plastic Pact: Governments, companies, and organisations come together under the unique collaborative project known as the Plastics Pact to solve the problem of plastic waste and advance a circular economy. Although the Plastics Pact is not unique to the UK, it has been put into practise there as well despite its global popularity. The agreement calls on members to rethink packaging, use less plastic, and, when practical, promote alternative materials. This promotes sustainable packaging options and cuts plastic waste at the source(Programme ,The Waste and Resources Action , 2022)
  • Plastic Bottle Deposit and Return Scheme: A deposit and return scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles has been adopted in any country, including the UK, or is being considered. When purchasing a beverage in a plastic bottle, consumers are required to pay a modest deposit. This deposit is recovered when the bottle is returned for recycling(Programme ,The Waste and Resources Action , 2022)
  • Single-Use Plastic Bans and Restrictions: Various single-use plastic products are either prohibited or subject to regulations by governments all around the world, including the UK. These include cotton buds, stirrers, silverware, and plastic straws. Governments want to promote the use of reusable alternatives and lower overall consumption of single-use plastics by banning or restricting the usage of these goods(Programme ,The Waste and Resources Action , 2022)
  • Plastic Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): Policies known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) make manufacturers accountable for managing the end-of-life of their products, including plastic packaging. Producers are obligated to make financial contributions to the collection, recycling, and ethical disposal of plastic packaging trash under EPR programmes. This strategy encourages package design that is more readily recyclable and aids in the growth of a circular economy(Programme ,The Waste and Resources Action , 2022)
  • Plastic Free Certification: Programs for "Plastic Free Certification" recognise and support companies and organisations who have made considerable efforts to eliminate or decrease single-use plastics. These initiatives provide organisations direction and assistance as they make the switch from using plastic to promoting sustainable alternatives(Programme ,The Waste and Resources Action , 2022)

Circular Economy and Plastic Waste

Principles of the circular economy

The principles of the circular economy provide a framework for achieving sustainable resource management and can significantly contribute to plastic waste reduction. Here are the key principles and their relevance to addressing the plastic waste challenge:

  • Design out waste and pollution: This principle emphasizes the need to consider the entire lifecycle of products, including their end-of-life stage. By designing products with recyclability and reusability in mind, plastic waste can be minimized. This involves using materials that are easier to recycle, promoting durable and repairable products, and avoiding unnecessary packaging(Velenturf, 2021).
  • Keep products and materials in use: The circular economy promotes the concept of prolonging the life of products and materials. Instead of disposing of plastic items after single use, efforts are made to maximize their utilization. This can be achieved through practices such as reuse, repair, and remanufacturing. Extending the lifespan of plastic products reduces the demand for new plastic production and decreases the volume of plastic waste generated(Velenturf, 2021).
  • Regenerate natural systems: This principle emphasizes the importance of protecting and restoring ecosystems. Plastic waste often finds its way into natural environments, harming wildlife and ecosystems. By preventing plastic pollution and actively cleaning up plastic waste, the circular economy supports the regeneration of natural systems and the conservation of biodiversity (Velenturf, 2021).

In relation to plastic waste reduction, these principles guide various strategies and actions:

Material selection and design: Applying the first principle, plastic materials can be chosen based on their recyclability and potential for reuse. Design considerations can include using mono-materials or easily separable materials to facilitate recycling, eliminating harmful additives, and incorporating recycled content into new plastic products(Velenturf, 2021).

  • Extended producer responsibility (EPR): EPR schemes can be implemented, shifting the responsibility of plastic waste management to the producers. By holding manufacturers accountable for the end-of-life management of their products, EPR encourages design choices that facilitate recycling and incentivizes the use of recycled materials(Velenturf, 2021).
  • Recycling infrastructure development: To keep plastic products and materials in use, the circular economy approach promotes the establishment and improvement of recycling infrastructure. This includes increasing collection and sorting facilities, investing in advanced recycling technologies, and creating markets for recycled plastic products (Velenturf, 2021).
  • Circular business models: Businesses can adopt circular economy principles by implementing innovative business models. For example, product-as-a-service models promote the sharing or leasing of products, reducing the overall demand for plastic items. Additionally, businesses can explore opportunities for remanufacturing or repurposing plastic waste into new products, contributing to a circular plastic economy(Velenturf, 2021).
  • Consumer behaviour and awareness: The circular economy relies on active consumer participation. Educating the public about the importance of reducing plastic waste, promoting responsible consumption habits, and encouraging the use of reusable alternatives can help drive behaviour change and support the transition to a circular plastic economy(Velenturf, 2021).

In summary, the principles of the circular economy provide a comprehensive approach to addressing plastic waste reduction. By designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems, the circular economy framework supports initiatives such as material selection, extended producer responsibility, recycling infrastructure development, circular business models, and consumer engagement. Implementing these principles can foster a more sustainable and circular approach to plastic consumption, minimizing waste, and maximizing the value derived from plastic materials(Velenturf, 2021)

Examples of circular economy practices in the UK and their impact on plastic waste reduction

The UK has established a number of circular economy strategies that help reduce plastic waste. Following are some instances of these actions and their results:

  • Development of Recycling Infrastructure: In the UK, the usage of plastics and even the presence of this adaptable material have come under growing attack. The UK Plastics Pact, whose members provide 80% of the market, aims to guarantee that goods are intended to be recycled, that recycling occurs, and that more recycled material is employed in new products (Martin, et al., 2021)
  • Product Design for Circularity: design strategies. To limit the consumption of single-use plastics, several businesses, for instance, provide refill alternatives or employ reusable packaging. Others are looking on cutting-edge materials and designs that make it easier to recycle or compost a product at the end of its useful life( LLC,ClimeCo, 2023).
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: To promote circular economy practises, the UK government is collaborating with industry players, NGOs, and research institutes. These partnerships encourage information exchange, R&D, and innovation to tackle the problems associated with plastic trash jointly( LLC,ClimeCo, 2023).
  • Sustainable Procurement: Circular economy ideas are being included into the UK's public and commercial organisations' procurement procedures. This involves locating goods and resources that are recyclable, reusable, or contain recycled components. By emphasising circular products, these organisations stimulate market demand for eco-friendly substitutes, resulting in a decrease in plastic waste( LLC,ClimeCo, 2023).
  • Consumer Education and Engagement: The UK government and a number of organisations are actively teaching and engaging consumers about the advantages of the circular economy and how they may help. This entails bringing attention to the problems with plastic waste, advocating sensible consumption practises, and promoting the use of reusable goods( LLC,ClimeCo, 2023).

Sustainable Development and Plastic Waste

The role of plastic waste reduction in achieving sustainable development goals

Reducing plastic waste is essential to meeting several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the United Nations has set. SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production is one of the main objectives that plastic waste reduction supports. We can encourage more sustainable purchasing and manufacturing trends by minimising plastic waste. This entails reducing the consumption of single-use plastics and promoting the usage of reusable substitutes. The circular economy, in which plastics are reused, recycled, or repurposed rather than disposed of as garbage, must also be promoted, as must recycling and waste management practises that place a priority on these practises. Adopting these practises will help us save resources, lessen environmental pollution, and make the best use of materials throughout the duration of their useful lives (Sousa, 2021).

SDG 14: Life Below Water is another SDG that has been influenced by attempts to reduce plastic waste. The biodiversity and marine ecosystems in the ocean are being threatened by plastic garbage. Marine life is harmed by the absorption and entanglement of plastics that find their way into seas and other bodies of water. We can lessen these effects and safeguard the wellbeing and integrity of marine ecosystems by minimising plastic trash. This entails encouraging responsible plastic usage, reducing plastic pollution via effective waste management, and supporting programmes to purge and restore marine habitats (Sousa, 2021).

Reducing plastic waste also supports SDG 15: Life on Land. Both land and marine ecosystems are impacted by plastic waste. It endangers the health of the soil, animal habitats, and species on land. People can protect biodiversity, ensure the health and resilience of terrestrial ecosystems, and stop littering and plastic pollution on land by lowering the amount of plastic trash that is produced. This entails encouraging correct garbage disposal, putting recycling programmes in place, and spreading knowledge about how plastic waste affects terrestrial ecosystems (Walker, 2021).

Another SDG that is influenced by the reduction of plastic waste is SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. Access to clean water and sanitation can be hampered by plastic waste contamination that contaminates water sources. We can ensure the availability of clean and healthy water resources by minimising plastic waste and preventing the build-up of microplastics in water bodies. This entails encouraging sensible plastic usage, putting in place efficient waste management procedures, and supporting the preservation of freshwater environments(Walker, 2021). SDG 13: Climate Action also involves reducing plastic waste. Climate change is a result of greenhouse gas emissions and plastic trash generation. We can lower the need for plastics made from fossil fuels, which require a lot of energy to generate, by minimising plastic trash. Furthermore, effective waste management techniques like recycling and waste-to-energy technology can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We can support international efforts to battle climate change and make the transition to a low-carbon economy by implementing sustainable plastic waste reduction practises(Walker, 2021). Additionally, reducing plastic waste supports SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being. Plastics have the ability to release harmful compounds into the environment, which may have an impact on ecosystems and public health. We can lessen human exposure to dangerous compounds and encourage a healthier environment by minimising plastic trash. This entails promoting the use of non-toxic and sustainable materials, backing clean-up campaigns in contaminated regions, and spreading knowledge about the negative effects of plastic trash on human health (Elsheekh, et al., 2021).

Finally, reducing plastic waste helps achieve SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. We support innovation in materials, packaging, and production techniques by adopting sustainable practises and advancing the circular economy. This promotes the construction of sustainable infrastructure and pushes businesses to adopt greener practises. Modern recycling techniques, eco-friendly design, and environmentally friendly packaging all help to promote more environmentally friendly manufacturing and consumption practises. We can lessen the negative effects of plastic waste on the environment and encourage the development of sustainable materials and packaging options by encouraging the use of recycled plastics and embracing circular economy ideas. This contributes to SDG 9's goal of encouraging sustainable industry and resilient infrastructure( Elsheekh, et al., 2021).

Examples of sustainable development practices in the UK that address plastic waste reduction

Sustainable Development Practice Description
Plastic Bag Charge Imposing a 5p charge on single-use plastic bags to reduce consumption and promote reusable alternatives(Chandra, 2017)
Plastic Packaging Tax Introducing a tax on plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content, encouraging the use of recycled materials and sustainable design (Taylor,Brook Harvey-, 2018).
Innovation and Research Investing in research and innovation to develop sustainable alternatives, improve recycling technologies, and find solutions to plastic waste (MANGO, 2020).
Plastic ban approach Numerous problems with plastic garbage have an impact on local government. This includes China's refusal to accept some kinds of plastic garbage. In particular, the UN Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous trash and their Disposal (the Basel Convention) and the accompanying rules impose certain legal duties on the UK with regard to the export of trash overseas. Recent changes to the Basel Convention mandate that some forms of plastic trash must be transported via a Prior Informed Consent approach starting on January 1, 2021. All of the UK must follow these updated regulations(Smith, 2022)
Circular Economy Initiatives Fostering collaborations and initiatives to promote circularity in the plastics sector, focusing on recycling infrastructure, sustainable packaging, and collaboration(MANGO, 2020).
Education and Awareness Undertaking campaigns to educate the public about plastic waste reduction, recycling, and sustainable consumption(MANGO, 2020).

Challenges and Opportunities

Challenges to implementing circular economy practices for plastic waste reduction in the UK

There are various obstacles to implementing circular economy practises in the UK to reduce plastic waste. In order to maintain openness and accountability, it is difficult to track and trace materials in the plastics business due to the complicated supply networks (Roy, et al., 2022). Additionally, the volume of plastic trash created frequently exceeds the capacity of the current waste management infrastructure, requiring renovations and extensions to garbage collection and recycling equipment (Hahladakis, 2020). Another issue is the absence of unified standards for the management of plastic waste, which makes it difficult to sort, recycle, and create criteria for the quality of recycled plastics (Md. Kibria, et al., 2023). To support the circularity of plastic materials, this necessitates the creation of uniform rules and standards throughout the sector. Additionally, the shift to a circular economy necessitates considerable expenditures for both research & development and technology developments. Innovations are required to create more environmentally friendly materials, advance recycling methods, and improve the design of plastic items to make them more recyclable and reusable (Hahladakis, 2020). It can be difficult to strike a balance between financial concerns and encouraging circular behaviour, as businesses may incur greater expenses when switching to sustainable alternatives or implementing circular business models (Barra, 2018). Consumer awareness and behaviour present another challenge. Effective education and awareness initiatives are necessary to persuade people to adopt sustainable consumption practises, such as minimising the use of single-use plastics and selecting goods with low environmental impact. Consistent advertising and easily accessible alternatives to single-use plastics are necessary for a progressive process of altering consumer attitudes and habits(Barra, 2018). Finally, in order to solve these issues, stakeholder involvement and cooperation are essential. To create and execute successful policies, exchange information and best practises, and promote innovation, governments, corporations, academics, and communities must collaborate. In order to adopt circular economy practises for reducing plastic waste in the UK, it is imperative to involve all key stakeholders in the plastic value chain. This will help to drive systemic change and remove obstacles(Barra, 2018).

Opportunities for innovation and collaboration in the UK to address plastic waste reduction

There are significant opportunities for innovation and collaboration in the UK to address plastic waste reduction, particularly within the context of the circular economy. By leveraging the principles of the circular economy, various stakeholders can work together to create a more sustainable and resource-efficient plastic value chain. Here are some key opportunities:

  • Sustainable Material Innovation: Developing and promoting sustainable alternatives to conventional plastics is a crucial area for innovation. Research and development efforts can focus on creating biodegradable or compostable materials, bio-based polymers, and other environmentally friendly alternatives that minimize the environmental impact of plastic production and disposal (Nature,Springer , 2023).
  • Design for Circularity: Adopting design principles that prioritize recyclability, reusability, and easy disassembly can enhance the circularity of plastic products. Encouraging eco-design practices among manufacturers can help optimize material use, reduce waste generation, and facilitate recycling and remanufacturing processes (OCED, 2021).
  • Tackling waste crime: The UK economy loses hundreds of millions of pounds each year to waste-related crime6. By disposing of garbage carelessly and inexpensively, rogue operators undermine legitimate enterprises by unlawfully dumping or exporting waste. This affects the environment and nearby populations while depriving the economy of tax revenue. The government is making sure that resources are appropriately recycled or reclaimed and channelled back into the economy by combating this crime(OGL, 2018)
  • Consumer Engagement and Education: Helping buyers pick and utilize more reasonable items, is both really great for themselves and the climate. Regardless of advances in innovation in ongoing many years, the typical life expectancy of numerous items we purchase and use in day-to-day existence is really lower than it was 20 years ago. The community need to expand the existences of items through fix, reuse and remanufacture. We need to assist buyers with being capable to reuse the materials they contain and discard them in the most naturally delicate ways (OGL, 2018)


Summary of key findings

The key findings from the provided journal articles on the opportunities for innovation and collaboration in the UK to address plastic waste reduction within the context of the circular economy are as follows: There is a need for sustainable material innovation and design for circularity to develop eco-friendly alternatives and optimize product design. Advanced recycling technologies play a crucial role in transforming plastic waste into valuable resources. Collaboration and knowledge sharing among stakeholders are essential for effective implementation. Digital solutions can enhance traceability and transparency. Consumer engagement and education are vital for promoting sustainable consumption habits. By leveraging these opportunities, the UK can make significant progress in reducing plastic waste and transitioning to a circular economy.

Recommendations for future action

Based on the insights gained from the challenges, opportunities, and findings discussed, here are some recommendations for future action in addressing plastic waste reduction in the UK within the framework of the circular economy:

  1. Invest in research and development: Allocate resources for research and development to advance sustainable material alternatives, recycling technologies, and innovative solutions for plastic waste reduction.
  2. Promote consumer awareness and behaviour change: Launch public awareness campaigns and educational programs to raise awareness about plastic waste issues and encourage responsible consumption practices.
  3. Support circular business models: Provide incentives and support for businesses that adopt circular economy practices, including financial assistance, tax incentives, and preferential procurement policies.
  4. Improve waste management infrastructure: Invest in infrastructure development and modernization to enhance recycling capabilities, waste collection systems, and processing facilities.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, reducing plastic waste in the UK necessitates a thorough and cooperative strategy. By focusing on sustainable material alternatives, design for circularity, cutting-edge recycling technology, and consumer interaction, the circular economy framework provides hopeful possibilities. The UK can make great strides in decreasing plastic waste and shifting to a more sustainable future by overcoming obstacles, seizing chances, and putting the suggested solutions into practise.


  • LLC,ClimeCo, 2023. Go Beyond The Value of Plastic. [Online]
    Available at:
    [Accessed 14 May 2023].
  • Avalon Diggle, A., 2022. Environmental and Economic Impacts of Mismanaged Plastics and Measures for Mitigation, s.l.: Dalhousie University,.
  • Barra, R., 2018. Plastics and the circular economy : A STAP document, s.l.: STAP.
  • COSTA, J. P. D., 2020. The environmental impacts of plastics and micro-plastics use, waste and pollution: EU and national measures, s.l.: Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs.
  • Chandra, G., 2017. Discouraging plastic bag use: alternatives to the 5p charge. [Online]
    Available at:
    [Accessed 16 May 2023].
  • Ekins, P. et al., 2022. The Circular Economy: What, Why How and Where, s.l.: University College London.
  • Elliott, T. &. E., 2018. A PLASTIC PLASTICS CONSUMPTION AND WASTE MANAGEMENT IN THE UK, s.l.: Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd.
  • Elsheekh, K. M., R., K. & M., E. D. M. &. S. A., 2021. Achieving sustainable development goals from the perspective of solid waste management plans. Journal of Engineering and Applied Science.
  • Enhesa, 2023. How to be compliant with plastic waste regulations?. [Online]
    Available at:
    [Accessed 14 may 2023].
  • Geissdoerfer, M., 2017. The Circular Economy – A new sustainability paradigm?. Journal of Cleaner Production, 143(6), p. 757–768.
  • Hahladakis, J. N., 2020. Plastic waste in a circular economy, s.l.: Elsevier, Oxford.
  • Hahladakis, J. Ν., 2020. Plastic waste in a circular economy , s.l.: Qatar University.
  • Helm, L., 2022. Impacts of Plastic Waste Management Strategies. Environmental Reviews.
  • Ilyas, M., Ahmad, W. & Khan, H. &. Y. ,., 2018. Plastic waste as a significant threat to environment - A systematic literature review. Reviews on Environmental Health, 33(4).
  • Jones, P., 2017. The Sustainable Development Goals and Information and Communication Technologies. Indonesian Journal of Sustainability Accounting and Management, 1(1).
  • Kuciel, S., 2022. Properties and Recyclability of Abandoned Fishing Net-Based Plastic Debris, s.l.: Norwegian University of Science and Technology,.
  • Kumar, R., 2021. Impacts of Plastic Pollution on Ecosystem Services, Sustainable Development Goals, and Need to Focus on Circular Economy and Policy Interventions, s.l.: Nalanda University.
  • Kite, 2023. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). [Online]
    Available at:
    [Accessed 16 May 2023].
  • MANGO, R., 2020. SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES IN PLASTIC WASTE MANAGEMENT case study of Acqua San Benedetto S.p.A., s.l.: Public Economics and Administration.
  • Martin, B., Holmes, H., Sharmina, M. & & Shaver, M. P., 2021. The future of UK plastics recycling: One Bin to Rule Them All. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, p. 164.
  • Md. Kibria, G. ,., Masuk, N. I. ,., Safayet, R. ,. & Nguyen, H. Q. &. M. .., 2023. Plastic Waste: Challenges and Opportunities to Mitigate Pollution and Effective Management. International Journal of Environmental Research.
  • Md. Kibria, G., Masuk, N. I., Safayet, R. & Nguyen, H. Q. &. M., 2023. Plastic Waste: Challenges and Opportunities to Mitigate Pollution and Effective Management. International Journal of Environmental Research.
  • Nature,Springer , 2023. SDG 12: Responsible Consumption & Production. [Online]
    Available at:
    [Accessed 14 May 2023].
  • Ncube, L., Ude, A. U. & Ogunmuyiwa, E. N. &. Z., 2021. An Overview of Plastic Waste Generation and Management in Food Packaging Industries. Recycling , 6(1).
  • OCED, 2021. Towards a more resource-efficient and circular economy: The role of the G20, s.l.: OCED.
  • OCED, 2022. Plastic pollution is growing relentlessly as waste management and recycling fall short, says OECD. [Online]
    Available at:
    [Accessed 16 May 2023].
  • OGL, 2015. Plastic bag charge introduced in England. [Online]
    Available at:,133%20bags%20for%20every%20person.
    [Accessed 16 May 2023].
  • Programme ,The Waste and Resources Action , 2022. A Roadmap to 2025: The UK Plastics Pact. [Online]
    Available at:
    [Accessed 14 May 2023].
  • Roy, D., Berry, E. & Orr, K. &. D., 2022. Challenges to creating a circular economy to minimise plastic waste: a qualitative study of stakeholders, s.l.: Queens University Belfast.
  • Smith, L., 2022. Plastic waste, s.l.: House of Common Library.
  • Schwarz, A. & Ligthart, T. B. ,. H. v., 2019. Sources, transport, and accumulation of different types of plastic litter in aquatic environments: A review study. Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 143, pp. 92-100.
  • Sousa, F. d., 2021. The role of plastic concerning the sustainable development goals: The literature point of view, s.l.: Universidade Federal de Pelotas.
  • Sousa, F. D. B. d., 2021. The role of plastic concerning the sustainable development goals: The literature point of view, s.l.: Cleaner and Responsible Consumption.
  • statista, 2022. Plastic waste in the UK - statistics & facts. [Online]
    Available at:
    [Accessed 14 May 2023].
  • UNEP, 2023. Plastic Pollution. [Online]
    Available at:
    [Accessed 14 May 2023].
  • Verma, A., 2021. Impacts of Plastic Pollution on Ecosystem Services, Sustainable Development Goals, and Need to Focus on Circular Economy and Policy Interventions, s.l.: Nalanda University.
  • Velenturf, A., 2021. Principles for a Sustainable Circular Economy, s.l.: Sustainable Production and Consumption.
  • Walker, T. R., 2021. (Micro)plastics and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, s.l.: Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry.
35% OFF
Get best price for your work
  • 54000+ Project Delivered
  • 500+ Experts 24*7 Online Help

offer valid for limited time only*