Research Activities

Research Projects 2023

Countermeasures on Marine Plastic Debris in Southeast Asia


Marine plastic debris has been recognized as a one global environmental problem in recent few years. Especially, Asian developing countries with huge population, growing income, and insufficient waste collection and disposal, are regarded as major sources of marine plastic debris. According to Meijer et al.(2021) which estimated the leakage of plastics to the ocean, six Southeast Asian countries (Philippines 1st, Malaysia 3rd, Indonesia 4th, Myanmar 5th Vietnam 8th and Thailand 10th) ranked in top 10. The total leakages from Southeast Asia reached 59% of the world leakage of plastics to the ocean. The sources of marine plastic pollution are not only waste generated by household and industry, but also synthetic fiber in wastewater of washing cloths, and debris of tire, lost fishing gear and others. In addition some studies in Indonesia and Vietnam found that rural area was a major source of plastic leakages, because waste collection services is limited. These countries have initiated various countermeasures such as restriction of single-use plastics and cleaning up litters in rivers and beaches. Local governments also have adopted some countermeasures, such as banning single-use plastic bag and formulating regional waste management schemes. This research project will review the roadmap and action plan on Asian countries, regional and international initiatives, and progress of these roadmap and action plan.

In addition, Ministerial conference on creating new multilateral environmental agreement to combat marine litter and prevent plastic pollution was held in September 2021, which was hosted by Germany, Ecuador, Ghana and Vietnam,

In addition, we study how to tackle the marine plastic debris globally, including new multilateral environmental agreement. Although most of multilateral environmental agreements require developed countries to do something, major source of marine plastic debris are generated from developing countries. The ways to support action in developing countries will be argued, taking into account regional seas convention and Minamata convention dealing with mercury pollution generated mostly in developing countries.


April 2022 - March 2024

Role Member
[ Organizer ] Kojima, Michikazu
[ Co-researcher ] Yanai, Akiko
[ Co-researcher ] Sasaki, Akiko
[ Co-researcher ] Sasaki, So(Chuo University Professor)
[ Co-researcher ] Sasaki, Shunsuke(Waseda University Lecturer)
[ Co-researcher ] Hideki Wada(Sustainable System Design institute President)

*Affiliations are as of April 2023.

Expected Outcome
  • Book published by External Publisher (Japanese)
  • Briefing to Policy Makers
  • Seminar/Lecture