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Local waste management successfully reduces coastal plastic pollution


Willis, K and Hardesty, BD and Vince, J and Wilcox, C, Local waste management successfully reduces coastal plastic pollution, One Earth, 5, (6) pp. 1-27. ISSN 2590-3330 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Crown Copyright 2022 Published by Elsevier Inc

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.oneear.2022.05.008


Regardless of where plastic pollution originates, the management interventions made at the local level are crucial to the global success of reducing plastic pollution. Reduced plastic consumption and pollution have been observed in communities with plastic taxes and educational programs. However, there is currently a lack of a quantitative framework that connects local actions to measurable reductions of plastic loads in the nearby coastal environment. Here, we explore whether changes in municipal waste management efforts corresponded to decreases in coastal plastic pollution across the continent of Australia. Our research shows that local strategies can result in large-scale benefits. We observed an average reduction in coastal litter of 29% over 6 years at the continental scale. Strategies that encouraged stewardship of coastal areas and economically motivated appropriate waste disposal were correlated with reductions in plastic pollution. This work can guide the efforts of policymakers and citizens alike to reduce plastic pollution at local, national, and global scales.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia, behavior change theory, coastal litter, policy, local waste management, plastic pollution, governance, local government, reduction
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:International and comparative law
Research Field:Ocean law and governance
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Environmental protection frameworks (incl. economic incentives)
UTAS Author:Willis, K (Dr Kathy Willis)
UTAS Author:Hardesty, BD (Dr Britta Hardesty)
UTAS Author:Vince, J (Associate Professor Joanna Vince)
UTAS Author:Wilcox, C (Dr Chris Wilcox)
ID Code:150554
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2022-06-20
Last Modified:2022-08-23

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