Plastic pollution to cost society $7.1 trillion by 2040

A new report by WWF and Dalberg has found that the societal cost of plastic pollution could hit US$7.1 trillion by 2040 without urgent action.

The report, titled ‘Plastics: The cost to society, environment and the economy’, estimates that plastic pollution will double by 2040 if significant measures are not introduced, with ocean plastic pollution set to triple within the same timeframe.

The report urges governments to establish a legally binding international treaty on marine plastic pollution at the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly in February 2022. A treaty such as this, it says, would internationally harmonise standards and definitions, increase policy effectiveness and facilitate business efforts to support the circular economy.