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Phasing out plastics: the packaging sector

Research reports

Written by Samuel Sharp

Hero image description: Plastic bottles Image credit:Jonathan Chng/Unsplash Image license:Creative Commons

Most plastic packaging is used only once, within six months of its manufacture, making packaging in 2015 the source of 47% of the world’s plastic waste.

This report explores the technical feasibility of phasing out packaging made from fossil plastic by 2050. Part of a broader research project investigating the technical potential for the phase-out of virgin plastics made from fossil fuels, the study presents a low-plastic-consumption vision for 2050 that is compatible with containing the rise in average global temperature to 1.5°C. In this scenario, there would be an 80% reduction in the consumption of single-use packaging by 2050 compared with a business-as-usual scenario.

Plastic bottles
Renilde Becqué and Samuel Sharp