The Climate Costs of Plastic

Project Details


The policy note was co-authored by the World Bank and University of Portsmouth based on the findings and literature review conducted by the University of Portsmouth. The objective of this research is to provide a better understanding
of the climate costs of plastic pollution along the whole value chain, as well as from the direct and indirect impacts of plastic pollution on adaptation and mitigation.

Key findings

Overall, the upstream stages of the plastic life cycle generate most climate costs and should be high priority targets for action to reduce GHG emissions. Emissions from end-of-life stages contribute substantially less globally, but have indirect climate impacts at multiple levels, including ecosystem health, and economic sectors including tourism and fisheries.
Effective start/end date30/05/2230/09/22

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • UPEL