Plastic Atlas Asia Edition

Facts and figures about the world of synthetic polymers

A world without plastic?

The Plastic Atlas Asia Edition has the hard facts, data and figures to prove that the story of plastic that industry is telling us is a myth. We need urgent and drastic reductions in plastic production and consumption and regulation at the local, national, regional and global level that tackle plastic pollution at the source.


Plastic Atlas Japan Special Edition (6 pages in English)

Topics include:
Japan’s Plastic Waste Management – Challenges and Potential Solutions
Does Japan Have the Answer? – Establishing a Recycling System and Going Beyond
Target Zero – Local Action and Zero Plastic Waste Declaration in Japan

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Web articles on Plastic

Contributions from Plastic Atlas

All infographics from the Plastic Atlas

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The solutions to the plastic and climate crisis need to go hand in hand.
Lili Fuhr

Photo Gallery on Plastic

Podcast on Plastic

Trailer: Introducing Mapping Asia's Plastic Crisis

The plastic waste crisis in Asia is real and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. It’s clear that we need a new approach to reducing disposable plastic waste and its impacts on the communities of Asia. 

Episode 1: Once Upon a Plastic Covered Beach...

We start with Melati Wijsen’s story….a young Indonesian civic advocate who went on a hunger strike in an effort to ban plastic bags on Bali.  With waste collection rates hovering around 44%, are Asian countries really to blame for the pollution crisis brought by disposable plastic packaging?

Episode 2: Shouldn't They Know Better?

We first travel to a waste bank on the island of Lembeh, Indonesia to see how recycling works (or doesn’t work) in small villages. Then we take a look at PET plastic recycling in Asian urban’s feasible…but if local governments here shoulder the burden of collecting and sorting the plastic that really making the polluters pay? 

Episode 3: Community Trash Talk

This episode looks at the rural village of Kamikatsu in Japan, as we explore the possibilities of going zero waste as a solution to solve Asia's plastic waste dilemma. 

Episode 4: Lessons From A Pandemic

In Asia, after decades of struggling with the cascade of trash caused by imported waste, and now the Covid-19 pandemic, do governments have the courage to pull together a cohesive action plan to reduce plastic waste?

Episode 5: The Plastic Carbon Footprint

We weave together experts from this season to uncover the links between disposable plastic waste and climate change.

About Plastic Atlas

In 20 chapters, our Plastic Atlas Asia Edition deals with very different aspects of plastic, illustrated by infographics. 

The question of plastic waste naturally plays an important role in the Plastic Atlas. In order to stop the plastic flood, current efforts are concentrating primarily on waste management and consumers. This plays into the hands of the plastics industry, because it can shift the responsibility for the plastics crisis onto consumers and at the same time point the finger at Southeast Asia, which suffers the most from the garbage. Because the trade with plastic waste is a lucrative business and a large part of our plastic waste from Europe, USA, Japan to Asia is exported there.

More recently, we have realised that plastic is also an acute - and even deadly - threat to human health. And not only for people, for almost every organism on this planet, plastic has harmful consequences that can cause damage to the immune and reproductive systems, the liver and kidneys, and even cancer. The Plastic Atlas deals with plastics and health and also with the question of how women and men are affected in different ways.

Plastic Atlas also shows solutions
Nevertheless, there is reason for hope. The Plastic Atlas introduces the growing global movement Break Free From Plastic, which tackles the problem at its roots, holds those responsible accountable and contributes to the emergence and growth of zero waste cities and communities around the world. A new global plastics convention could prevent growing pollution from plastics at all stages of the production cycle as well as harm to human health.

A world without plastic pollution is a vision worth fighting for. Because plastic is an issue that concerns and moves each and every one of us. And we have only just begun to understand the enormous dimensions of this crisis. A change of course requires a sound knowledge of the causes, drivers and effects of the plastics crisis and the plastic atlas.