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Prof. Sasaki attend SEA of Solutions 2020 by UNEP as a panelist.

2020.12.11
Plastic pollution and marine litter are new pressing challenges on a global scale. With the support of the Swedish government, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) annually holds the SEA of Solutions as a partnership event toward solving the problem of plastic pollution at its source. *1
 
Currently during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, increasingly greater efforts are required to reduce plastic waste and marine litter due to a rapid increase in the amount of disposable masks and single-use plastic containers, a downturn in demand for recycled plastic, and a plunge in the price of plastic caused by slumping oil prices.
 
To address these problems, keynote lectures and parallel sessions took place on various themes in the SEA of Solutions 2020 held from 24th to 26th November. Professor So Sasaki of the Faculty of Economics reported his research and contributed to the discussion of the “Plastic protection without pollution” session as a panelist.
At the opening of the session; Prof. Sasaki on the top
The session started with the panelists sharing information that in Asian countries there has been a rapid increase in the use of food delivery services during the COVID-19 lockdown period or equivalent, which has led to a significant increase in the amount of waste plastic. Then a discussion followed regarding the situation surrounding waste plastic in Asia.There has been a large gap between the amount of waste plastic and the demand for recycle materials, but during a time of such imbalance in the market, sorting and collection projects led by private companies have been proving effective. The panelists  also argued that it is high time the recycling laws for plastic related items were implemented.*2 
 
What was reported is part of the research findings of a project “Formation of a Center of Excellence for Marine Plastic Pollution Studies in the Southeast Asian Seas”, Grant No. JPMJSA1901 of the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS), run by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
SATREPS: Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development
This international joint research project of SATREPS is running an international joint research project that investigates ways in which plastic waste is released into the oceans and the impact of such marine plastic debris on the ocean environment. It is proposing an action plan for mitigating marine plastic debris to the Thai government with the aim of contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) No.14: Life below water and No.12: Responsible consumption and production. *3
During the panel discussion (Prof. Sasaki on the top right)