What are the Social Aspects of Tackling Plastics Pollution? How Can Businesses Drive Inclusive Recycling?

Join us for a live written discussion with a panel of experts to deepen understanding of the social impacts of plastic and discuss how corporates can drive inclusive recycling

Live Panel

Thursday, 26 March, 10-11am EST (3pm-4pm GMT) ADD TO CALENDAR


Many companies are actively developing ambitious targets and strategies to tackle the plastics issue, including around reducing and replacing plastics in their packaging; redesigning packaging to ensure it can be reused, recycled or composted; and incentivising recycling and behaviour change among their consumers.

In practice, a number of significant challenges lie in the way of progress. Much focus to date has been about removing plastics from waste streams; legislation against single use plastics and developing new plastic technology. Some have suggested that not enough attention being paid to the social dimension. The social aspects of pollution, tackling pollution and the social harms that plastics pollution create and antagonise.

This online discussion will delve deeper into the social issues plastics pollution generates and will discuss some of the business solutions to them. For example:

  • the employment opportunities, incomes and working standards of waste pickers, particularly in the informal sector and how this sector can be professionalised;
  • the impact of plastics pollution on people’s health;
  • the wider lack of access to waste management, which is a key factor in the bulk of plastic being dumped into rivers or incinerated;
  • the lack of a world-wide social standard for plastics recycling, making it difficult to compare and benchmark different initiatives;
  • the opportunity to convert plastics (including the large stock of plastics waste) into clean (affordable) energy;
  • the tension between the social benefits and environment cost of small sachet packaging;
  • the rise in urbanisation and the middle class as a wider contextual issue to the rise of plastics pollution and strategies to tackle it;
  • And finally, the disproportionate distribution of impacts of plastics pollution in developing countries.


Q1. What is the size and scale of social impacts of plastic waste and the recycling of it?

Q2. What are the corporate examples of programmes with a strong social dimension, including around inclusive recycling?

Q3. Where are the opportunity for partnerships, including B2B to scale up inclusive recycling?

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