The Economist Impact and The Nippon Foundation Plastics Management Index ranks 25 countries globally across 44 indicators organised into three categories: governance, systemic capacity, and stakeholder engagement.
The South-East Asia report examines plastics management initiatives in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam and shows a mixed picture of progress. Innovative initiatives are improving plastics recycling and the amount of plastics entering the ocean, and the index indicates strength in stakeholder engagement across all countries. However, there is inadequate action or stagnation in parts of the region, with weak governance in policy development, implementation, and monitoring.
Managing ocean plastics is a transboundary issue, and it requires cooperation regionally and between countries and cities for effective change. It also requires better facilitation of finance solutions and investment. Engagement from commercial and government players is vital and needs to be improved. A common voice between civil society and the private sector is also required to pressure regulators to drive systemic change. An agreement on the frameworks that guide plastics management efforts and coordination between those implementing change also needs to be improved to work together more efficiently and prevent duplication.