Publication: Policy briefs

Standards and the International Standardization Landscape: Relevance to Plastics and Plastic Pollution

Download

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the role standards can perform in tackling plastics pollution. The field of standards and standardization is, however, a complex area inhabited by a multitude of organizations and technical committees populated by anonymous experts. Together, they deal with topics that are often outside the understanding of non-experts, policymakers, or the public.

This research brief aims to help policy makers, academia and the interested public obtain a better understanding of the structure and functioning of the international standardization system. It offers an overview of some of the main standardization organizations and current plastics standards, identifies some of the gaps in the landscape of these standards, and highlights the potential role, as well as the limitations, of standards in combatting plastics pollution. The paper also provides recommendations for enhancing the impact and effectiveness of standardization, and highlights the role standards and other instruments could perform in support of a possible future global treaty on plastic pollution.

 

Citation: Wessinger, R. (2021). “Standards and the International Standardization Landscape: Relevance to Plastics and Plastic Pollution,” Global Governance Centre, The Graduate Institute and the Forum on Trade, Environment, and the SDGs (TESS), Geneva.

Stay informed