Research Activities

Research Projects

Countermeasures on Marine Plastic Debris in Southeast Asia(2022_2_40_020)


Marine plastic debris has been recognized as a global environmental problem in recent years. Developing countries in Asia with large populations, rising incomes, and insufficient waste collection and disposal systems are regarded as major sources of marine plastic debris. According to Meijer et al. (2021), which estimated the leakage of plastics into the ocean, six Southeast Asian countries were among the top 10 worst polluters: the Philippines (1st), Malaysia (3rd), Indonesia (4th), Myanmar (5th), Vietnam (8th), and Thailand (10th). The total leakages from Southeast Asia accounted for 59% of the global leakage of plastics into the ocean. The sources of marine plastic pollution are not only waste generated by households and industry but also include synthetic fiber in wastewater from washing clothes, debris from tires, lost fishing gear, and so on. In addition, studies in Indonesia and Vietnam have found that rural areas are a major source of plastic leakages because waste collection services are limited. These countries have initiated various countermeasures, including restrictions on single-use plastics and cleaning up litter in rivers and beaches. Local governments also have adopted countermeasures such as banning single-use plastic bags and formulating regional waste management schemes. This research project will review roadmaps and action plans in Asian countries, regional and international initiatives, and the progress of activities. In addition, Germany, Ecuador, Ghana, and Vietnam hosted a conference in September 2021 with the aim of creating a new multilateral environmental agreement to combat marine litter and prevent plastic pollution. In addition, we will consider how to tackle marine plastic debris globally, including new multilateral environmental agreements. Although most multilateral environmental agreements require developed countries to do something, a major source of marine plastic debris is developing countries. Ways to support action in developing countries will be considered, taking into account regional maritime conventions and the Minamata convention that deals with mercury pollution generated mostly in developing countries.


April 2022 - March 2023

Leader of the Research Project

Kojima, Michikazu


Book published by External Publisher (Japanese),Briefing to Policy Makers,Seminar/Lecture