The scale of the challenge demands a new framework that covers the entire lifecycle of plastic products—from design to production to consumption to disposal and beyond. This report, which introduces the Plastics Management Index (PMI), aims to contribute to this goal by bringing attention to growing global concerns around the use of plastic and highlighting how its management can be made sustainable. And with 2021 marking the start of the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science, the goal of which is science-based management of the oceans, the timing of this initiative is particularly apt.
The PMI, which is a project of Back to Blue, an initiative of Economist Impact and The Nippon Foundation, measures, compares and contrasts the efforts made by a selection of 25 countries at different stages of development in their management of plastics, covering the entire lifecycle of plastic products.
Its goal is to assess each country’s capacity to minimise plastics mismanagement or leakages across the plastics lifecycle, while promoting the optimal production and use of plastic as a resource. In so doing, it views the issue through the lens of policy, regulation and business practice, while also incorporating consumer actions and perspectives.