Marine Plastic Pollution in Asia: All Hands on Deck!

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For the week of 26 August 2019

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

Chinese Journal of Environmental Law has published, Marine Plastic Pollution in Asia: All Hands on Deck!

Abstract: Marine plastics pollution (MPP) is an alarming problem affecting many countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, and generated mostly from land-based sources. Five Asian countries (i.e. China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka) have been identified as the largest sources of MPP globally. This article presents two cases studies focused on the two largest polluters: China and Indonesia. Both countries face similar challenges in dealing with plastic pollution. They have weak legal and institutional frameworks in place to deal with MPP. The two case studies also show that there have been more creative and effective measures taken at the domestic level by local governments and non-state actors, many of which involve partnerships among different stakeholders. This article argues that governance efforts to address MPP require an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach, involving multi-level and multi-actor strategies and targeted regulatory and non-regulatory measures. However, our findings also suggest that most efforts should be directed at the subnational level, from which the problem mainly originates. This article proposes a number of legal and policy recommendations, based on the lessons learned from the case studies, which can be instrumental in reducing the global MPP crisis.

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at: abrown [at]

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– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

Climate Change, Ocean Acidification, and Ocean Warming

OA: Arafeh-Dalmau, N. et al. Extreme Marine Heatwaves Alter Kelp Forest Community Near Its Equatorward Distribution LimitFrontiers in Marine Science6, (2019).

Deep-sea ecosystems and hydrothermal vents

OA: Thaler, A. D. & Amon, D. 262 Voyages Beneath the Sea: a global assessment of macro- and megafaunal biodiversity and research effort at deep-sea hydrothermal ventsPeerJ 7, e7397 (2019).

Invasive Species

OA: Lyons, T. J., Tuckett, Q. M. & Hill, J. E. Characterizing the US trade in lionfishesPLOS ONE 14, e0221272 (2019).

Management and Management Effectiveness

OA: Lewis, D. J., Dundas, S. J., Kling, D. M., Lew, D. K. & Hacker, S. D. The non-market benefits of early and partial gains in managing threatened salmonPLOS ONE 14, e0220260 (2019).

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

OA: Palomo, L. E. & Hernández-Flores, A. Application of the Ostrom framework in the analysis of a social-ecological system with multiple resources in a marine protected areaPeerJ 7, e7374 (2019).

Pollution and Marine Debris

OA: Garcia, B., Fang, M. Meng & Lin, J. Marine Plastic Pollution in Asia: All Hands on Deck!Chinese Journal of Environmental Law 3, 11 - 46 (2019).

Seafloor Mining

OA: Childs, J. Greening the blue? Corporate strategies for legitimising deep sea miningPolitical Geography 74, 102060 (2019).

Social-Ecological Systems and Human Wellbeing

OA: Palomo, L. E. & Hernández-Flores, A. Application of the Ostrom framework in the analysis of a social-ecological system with multiple resources in a marine protected areaPeerJ 7, e7374 (2019).

Tools and Data

OA: Thaler, A. et al. Bot Meets Whale: Best Practices for Mitigating Negative Interactions Between Marine Mammals and MicroROVsFrontiers in Marine Science 6, (2019).


OA: Fabinyi, M. The role of land tenure in livelihood transitions from fishing to tourismMaritime Studies (2019). doi:10.1007/s40152-019-00145-2