Turning Plastic Pollution Commitments into Action: GPAP Annual Impact Report 2021

Blog   September 10, 2021

Through strong convening power and the inclusion of people across multiple sectors, GPAP provides a critical platform for fostering collective agreement and driving coordinated action to tackle plastic pollution and waste.”

— James Quincey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company



Plastic flows into the ocean are expected to triple by 2040 – but immediate action could stem the tide by more than 80%.

If we act together now, we can halt this crisis in its tracks. The Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) was created by a coalition of public and private sector leaders to address the worldwide explosion in plastic pollution. We aim to shape a more sustainable and inclusive world by eradicating that pollution. Through our inclusive multistakeholder platforms, we’re uniquely equipped to bring public, private and civil society leaders together to develop joint solutions to the plastic pollution crisis that are both pragmatic and ambitious.

Welcome from our Director, Kristin Hughes, and the GPAP team around the world



Throughout my career, whether working for governments, NGOs, or private organizations, I’ve always been inspired by those working to improve the state of the world and I’ve done all I can to learn from such leaders and trailblazers and to collaborate with them to deliver positive results.

In each of my roles, it’s been abundantly clear just how vital it is to work with others on co-creating and co-implementing solutions. The World Economic Forum’s platform approach for engaging diverse  stakeholders is a great example of that process in action. The Forum brings together stakeholders from a diverse set of interests to align behind a common objective,  recognizing that combining their strengths delivers an outcome greater than that which they could bring to bear on their own. It is with great honor that I lead one of these platforms – the Global Plastic Action  partnership – not only because of the urgent need to address plastic waste and pollution but because of the impartial leadership and convening power that the World Economic Forum brings to support progress towards shared goals.

Today, as we start to find solutions to manage COVID-19, the spirit of partnership and collaboration is more important than ever. Before the pandemic, we knew plastic waste and pollution was a global issue that needed to be addressed. Now, as we aim to initiate a Great Reset, we must advocate for essential systems change, and we must work together to deliver it in an inclusive way. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of engaging a wide diversity of actors, such as governments, business, civil society and youth leaders, to cultivate purpose-driven communities. Thanks to our unique platform approach, GPAP is well placed to orchestrate action that triggers systemic impact.

Other trends, like companies pledging net-zero or other enhanced environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments and shareholders highlighting the value of looking beyond quarterly returns, emphasize the need for platforms like GPAP to work in collaboration with likeminded organizations to turn commitments into action and ensure long-term, positive outcomes.

We have less than a decade to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in the shadow of COVID-19, fiscal belts are being drawn ever tighter. Therefore, it’s even more crucial to deploy resources efficiently and effectively. The SDGs can only be  attained through global partnerships and impartial cooperation. In that regard, GPAP has a big role to play in delivering against SDG 17 (partnerships for sustainable development), among others, as we leverage our unique public-private platform to build and curate communities, catalyse and support inclusive collaborative initiatives
and demonstrate genuine impact.

To that end, I’m delighted to introduce our second, annual impact report. A little over two years ago, we launched our first partnership with the Government of Indonesia. Since then, we’ve increased the number of partnerships we facilitate, and our reach continues to grow. GPAP is poised to support more countries in their efforts to address plastic waste and pollution, and we know that we cannot work alone. As we embrace multistakeholder collaboration and pivot GPAP towards its next phase, we’re encouraged by the leadership and cooperation shown by corporate competitors like PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Company, corporate actors across the value chain like Nestlé and Dow, G7nations  including the UK and Canada, development organizations such as the World Bank Group and our global partners WWF, UNEP and WRAP.

We warmly welcome new partners, trailblazers, innovators and entrepreneurs to join us. We invite you to bring your collaborative spirit, your ambitions and your beliefs. We can deliver impact at scale and make a real difference to the world around us if we work collectively. Only together can we eradicate plastic pollution from our planet, improving the state of the world for all.

Our year at a glance


In the face of global disruption, the Global Plastic Action Partnership is grateful to our dedicated community who continue to raise the bar and build momentum across all six of our impact areas.


June - September


Raised awareness of the impact of COVID-19 on the plastic ecosystem through a public townhall.


Engaged youth leaders in the plastic agenda at the Global Shapers Annual Curators Meeting.


Established a plastic baseline and scenario model in Viet Nam


Built capacity on policy, behaviour, gender and innovation at the Sustainable Development Impact Summit


November - December


Developed a roadmap to catalyse financing in Indonesia


Convened Viet Nam's plastic action leaders through NPAP Viet Nam's launch ceremony


Shared Ghanaian best practice with global leaders at the World Circular Economy Forum


January - March


Raised awareness of circular economy innovation at The Davos Agenda


Brought together key youth leaders with an impressive track record of action on plastic waste through the inaugural Plastic Action Champion cohort


Collaborated with the HRH The Prince of Wales' Sustainable Markets Initiative to host a Roundtable on Financing Plastic Action in Emerging Markets


Crowdsourced informal plastic waste solutions in Indonesia through the Indonesia Informal Sector Innovation Challenge


Scaled the national partnership network and announced Nigeria as the next national partnership


May - June


Established gender-responsive principles for plastic action through GPAP’s Guide to Ensure Gender-Responsive Action in Eliminating Plastic Pollution 


Established a platform for connecting innovators, experts, and investors through the Global Plastic Innovation Network


Convened financial sector representatives through the launch of GPAP's Financing Task Force

Developing countries face an escalating plastic pollution crisis, requiring innovation and investments to provide solutions. The Global Plastic Action Partnership plays an important role, engaging with public and private partners to transform challenges into opportunities and achieve green, resilient and inclusive development.

— Mari Elka Pangestu, Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank Group

Responding to challenges


The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of collaborating to deliver results. We work with public and private sector groups in our partner countries to co- create impactful local solutions. No single actor has all the answers. We employ a multistakeholder approach to help governments, companies and others collectively address problems.

We also recognize the importance of a flexible, tailored approach. Every country is unique and needs are driven locally so solutions must be too. There’s no single right answer to addressing plastic pollution, but we know we must work together and share what we learn. Throughout the pandemic, plastic has been vital for personal protective equipment (PPE), masks and the distribution of sanitizers. However, widespread utilization of these single-use plastics, coupled with inadequate waste management, has exacerbated plastic pollution.

Furthermore, lifestyle changes and the closure of recycling facilities have added to the problem, while many informal sector workers grapple with lost income. Despite the setbacks caused by the pandemic, we have continued to collaborate with local partners to gather insights and drive impact.


Context: Informal waste collectors are critical to managing and reducing the world’s plastic pollution. But a lack of protective equipment means COVID-19 has greatly increased the risks for these workers.

Action: Given the extraordinary circumstances, we used funding from the UK Government to provide organizations in NPAP countries with resources for PPE, hygiene products and food stipends. Collaborating with ENDA in Viet Nam, WIEGO in Ghana and Greeneration and VOI in Indonesia, we helped these at-risk communities secure essential items.

Result: More than 8,800 waste pickers, including 3,000 women, received health and safety resources during the pandemic. Items provided included gloves, clothing, boots, helmets, reusable face masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning products. In some cases, food allowances and health insurance were also provided.


A survey by Greeneration Foundation in Indonesia showed that 98% of recipients felt that the provision of supplies could guarantee the safety of their work.

waste pickers received health and safety resources during the pandemic

How we work

To ensure our operations have maximum impact, our work is guided by three strategic pillars:





Convening communities and curating conversations to build strong, inclusive and collaborative impact communities at global and national levels

Generating new insights and action roadmaps: supporting countries to assess their current plastics value chain and leakage areas, predicting potential future scenarios and designing national action roadmaps to address country-specific plastic waste issues.


Catalysing coordinated action to scale solutions: creating a collaborative ecosystem that enables the implementation of national action roadmaps and incentivizes investment.

Our impact areas


We've identified six key, connected areas in which our work can make the biggest contribution:


Informing policy

We support policy-makers as they collaborate with stakeholders to confront plastic pollution in their territories.

Unlocking Finance

We engage stakeholders to promote investment tackling plastic waste and pollution.

Transforming behaviour

We amplify initiatives that help citizens and consumers form a more sustainable relationship with plastics.

Boosting innovation

We create opportunities for high-potential innovators to connect with those who can scale their innovations.

Harmonizing metrics

We facilitate evidence-based, country-level analysis and action planning to create a best-practice framework for measuring plastic waste reduction.

Promoting inclusivity

We aim to ensure diverse voices and inclusive perspectives are integrated across all our partnerships.

How we collaborate


GPAP's governance structure is designed to enable impactful collaboration through our impartial global and national multistakeholder platforms.


GPAP impact ladder


Our concerted actions across all six impact areas collectively contribute toward crucial change across the plastics sector. Through our focus on convening people, generating insights and catalysing action, our ultimate vision is to shape a more sustainable and inclusive world through the eradication of plastic pollution.

impact ladder

Impact areas

informing policy

All NPAPs conduct a detailed assessment of the current local plastics situation and estimate potential future plastic flows. Sector experts review the data and develop policy options to address the challenges raised. From these insights, NPAPs publish an evidence based action roadmap outlining recommendations to help achieve the country’s plastic pollution targets. They then launch task forces charged with driving progress.

Our roadmaps and the insights generated by our partners have contributed to national policies and legislation on circular economy, plastic waste management and extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes in Viet Nam, influenced national plastics management policy in Ghana and fostered agreement on targets in Indonesia.



of NPAP Viet Nam's members have been involved in government policy consultations



report being involved in corporate policy decisions


Context: In November 2020, the Government of Viet Nam amended its Law of Environmental Protection, singling out the  Plastics and packaging sector for priority attention. The Government aims to identify the opportunities and challenges for the sector as it transitions towards a more circular economy.

Action: The Government has recognized NPAP Viet Nam to be a lead convener in developing evidence-based analysis. The NPAP creates scenarios that aid understanding of the plastic pollution situation and considers how to best deliver impact. The team is bringing together stakeholders to provide feedback on an associated Government decree, sharing findings from the NPAP’s baseline analysis and integrating its impartial insights.

Result: NPAP Viet Nam will be helping the Government strengthen plastic waste management from a national to a local level. In its efforts to accelerate the circular economy, the Government of Viet Nam now intends to apply the NPAP’s systems change approach to sectors beyond plastics and packaging.


informing policy case study

The NPAP provides a lot of information. It has been mapping projects and stakeholders so we know what others have been doing. It helps us to avoid overlapping and to collaborate with each other, which makes things more productive.”

— Dr Xhan Quach, Coordinator of Vietnam Zero Waste Alliance

unlocking finance

Solving the plastic waste problem will require a significant redirection of funds towards new models for reuse, substitution and collection, the estimated cost of which is $1.2 trillion by 2040. But investment in a circular economy for plastics is currently inconsistent and small scale with several barriers blocking increased flows of private capital.

In the spring of 2021, GPAP created a Financing Task Force to further support our financing work at national and global levels. GPAP intends to continue engaging major financial institutions, publish a white paper documenting challenges and opportunities, and build a policy framework to boost private investment in the circular economy. Identifying key barriers to financing and the solutions to unlock them will require a concerted effort by private financial institutions and governments alike.


$ million

committed by GPAP members to NPAP countries


financial institutions participating in GPAP events and task forces to date

GPAP’s focus on financing for plastic action at both the global and national level ensures that all stakeholders are engaged, from multilateral institutions and funds to traditional financial institutions and banks. In order to address the financing gap for the circular economy, we all have to work together.

— Leah Karrer, Senior Circular Economy Officer, Global Environment Facility


Context: The ambitious goals put forward in NPAP Indonesia’s action roadmap can only be achieved if strategic investment is made in Indonesia’s waste management infrastructure and circular economy.

Action: NPAP Indonesia created a financing roadmap that outlines recommendations for mobilizing investment to meet the national marine plastic waste reduction target. It estimates a need for $18 billion in capital investment and an extra $1 billion per year in operational financing for solid waste management systems by 2040.

Result: The Alliance to End Plastic Waste is a global non-profit organization that develops, deploys and scales solutions to end plastic waste in the environment. The Alliance partners with multiple stakeholders to tackle plastic waste, such as Project STOP alongside Nestlé, SYSTEMIQ and Borealis in Jembrana, Bali. When complete in 2022, the integrated waste management system will serve approximately 140,000 people and divert about 3,000 tons of plastic waste annually. The subsequent aim is to take on early-development risks as part of securing fresh investment and scaling a new purpose-built system to serve 2.5 million people in Malang, Java.


Hoi An (Hoian), Vietnam - April 12, 2018: Garbage collectors loading trash by hand. Garbage truck at old street of Hoi An Ancient Town in morning. Hoian is a popular tourist destination of Asia.


people will be reached through financing committed by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste in Indonesia

transforming behaviour

All stakeholders in the plastics ecosystem have a role to play in shifting mindsets and behaviours. Our multistakeholder approach means we can raise awareness among governments, businesses and other decision- makers about proven behaviour change methods. We take a holistic approach to behaviour change, focusing on upstream actions that prevent waste and downstream actions that better manage it.

The NPAPs in Indonesia and Ghana both convened Behaviour Change Task Forces in 2021. We’ve also partnered with civil society organizations to develop a reuse portal that will enable stakeholders to connect with  each other and learn how to implement reuse models at scale. During 2021, we’ll collaborate on the first prototype.



solutions have been generated by GPAP to address plastic waste and pollution to date

We’ve come to the common understanding that behavioural change requires creating an enabling policy and economic system that creates a thousand nudges to shift behaviour. Impact needs size, and size requires many hands to do the work.

— Tiza Mafira, Executive Director, Plastic Bag Diet Movement (GIDKP) /Aliansi Zeroo waste Indonesia (AZWI)


Context: Working with circular economy experts, WRAP, we set out to understand how to shift behaviour in waste management. Our research identified that people are more likely to recycle if recycling points are more convenient and in locations they’re familiar with.

Action: NPAP Ghana partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, Ghana) to further develop the waste resource map launched in 2019. Through the partnership, the NPAP contacted stakeholders to map recycling points, which are predominantly operated by young entrepreneurs across Ghana.

Result: Thanks to better mapping and increased awareness of the business opportunities in the recycling sector, there are now more than 116 identified recycling
points in Ghana’s capital city, Accra, up from just 10 before the partnership began. The tool is currently being updated to enable recycling point operators to easily update the listings.


mapping tool


identified recycling points in Accra - up from just 10 before the partnership began

boosting innovation

Dealing with plastic pollution demands creativity – from re-designing packaging and delivery models to implementing new recycling technologies that help address waste production and management. We form innovative partnerships in response to needs within the national context, including a collaborative project with SAP to bring transparency to the plastics value chain.

To discover innovators around the world, we collaborated with UpLink to launch the Global Plastic Innovation Network, aiming to build a community of pioneers working to eradicate plastic waste. Thanks to our extensive network, we can connect the innovators that have the best, scalable ideas to decision-makers and potential investors.



solutions have been generated by GPAP to address plastic waste and pollution to date

views of innovations on the network to date


Context: Informal waste collectors are vital, but they’re poorly rewarded and rarely recognized. Integrating the informal sector in Indonesia is critical to improve livelihoods and meet the NPAP’s goal of doubling Indonesia’s waste collection and recycling capacity.

Action: In collaboration with the Incubation Network and the Ocean Plastic Prevention Accelerator (OPPA), GPAP launched an UpLink innovation challenge calling for ideas to improve the integration of the informal sector in Indonesia’s waste management economy.

Result: Twelve innovators were selected to receive support from the Incubation Network and OPPA to refine their solutions. The top three will be awarded a $5,000 grant thanks to Suntory and Indorama Ventures. In addition, the innovators gain access to UpLink events and the Forum will promote their work via social media.




informal waste sector ideas generated from Indonesia's innovation challenge

views of videos about the opportunity and innovations

infomal sector
harmonizing metrics



Building consensus on consistent approaches to measuring plastic waste and pollution is essential for monitoring progress. Three of our national partners – Indonesia, Ghana and Viet Nam – have conducted rigorous baseline assessments and projections, giving their governments clear evidence on which to act.

In support of these measurement efforts, GPAP is working with partners and experts to encourage greater integration between established tools and methodologies. We’re also upgrading our approach to the baseline analysis so that governments, industry and civil society can conduct assessments and projections more independently. This updated tool will be interoperable so that different methodologies can be harmonized more easily.


current NPAPs have completed baseline and scenario analyses


Context: Clarity about the scale of a nation’s plastic waste problem is a vital starting point for positive action. In Viet Nam, there was little agreement or data
about plastic waste volumes and flows until the NPAP created it.

Action: By conducting a thorough baseline analysis through a participatory process with over 70 experts, NPAP Viet Nam identified the country’s municipal solid waste and plastic waste flows and quickly gained agreement on its data.

Result: The Government of Viet Nam has shared the baseline results with the national statistics office and local authorities. The baseline data have also been referenced repeatedly, including in the Vietnam Zero Waste Alliance’s Waste Audit, the World Bank’s Plastics Circularity Market Study and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Guidance for Plastic Pollution Hotspotting.



experts consulted while conducting NPAP Viet Nam’s baseline analysis

A card that says "Promote Inclusivity: We aim to ensure diverse voices and inclusive perspectives are integrated across all of our partnerships."

This year, GPAP has focused on how gender equality can transform the plastics value chain, publishing a guide to gender-responsive action on plastic pollution and, in Ghana, a gender analysis of the plastics sector.

We recognize the crucial role of informal waste sector workers too. Thanks to our facilitation, multinational software company SAP is preparing to help 2,000 waste pickers in Ghana measure and get paid for the plastic they collect.

In 2021, we also launched our Plastic Action Champions initiative, convening eight accomplished young leaders who are promoting plastic waste solutions and
engaging them at both GPAP and NPAP levels across all six of GPAP’s impact areas.


of Steering Board and Experts Group members are women


of members report having a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ awareness of gender inclusive approaches to addressing plastic pollution


Context: Despite women playing a critical role in promoting circular economy solutions, making purchasing decisions and ensuring plastic waste is collected and recycled, their contribution to the plastics value chain has largely been undervalued.

Action: NPAP Ghana investigated gender roles across the plastics and waste management value chains. NPAP Ghana’s Gender Advisor conducted research in five of ten regions across the country, holding over 150 interviews with men and women
from both the formal and informal sectors of the plastics value chain.

Result: The NPAP published the first-ever plastics sector gender analysis, revealing the roles, responsibilities and barriers to equal participation for women. The report explores the realities for women as regulators, market actors, workers, consumers and community members, presenting recommendations that are consistently referenced and amplified by NPAP members.



of women working in the plastics sector in Ghana are in decision-making positions

of women occupy lower-level roles like waste picking, washing, sorting and packing

spotlight women

While women, migrants, Indigenous Peoples, and low-income populations are more likely to be negatively affected by plastic pollution, they are also a driving force of positive change, leadership and innovation in their communities. Canada is proud to support GPAP’s efforts to reduce plastic pollution in a way that empowers all. We encourage greater gender inclusiveness and social justice in national policies on plastic waste.

— Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change for Canada

A snapshot of impact

snapshot of impact


Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, with 108,000 kilometres of coastline and an abundance of biodiverse marine ecosystems. However, the country faces an escalating plastic pollution crisis.

Plastics play a key role in the national economy, generating around 6.8 million tonnes of plastic waste per year and rising. Without urgent action, the flow of plastic waste into the country’s water bodies is projected to increase by 30% between 2017 and 2025 to 780,000 tonnes per year.




tonnes of plastic waste per year


Indonesia has committed to reducing marine plastic waste by 70% by 2025

key achievements


Ghana’s economic growth has coincided with a significant increase in the consumption of plastic products, especially single-use plastics.

It’s estimated that Ghana produces 0.84 million tonnes of post-consumer plastic waste each year; a figure that’s growing more than 5% annually. This rapid growth is driven by both an expanding population and increasing plastic consumption. The primary source of plastic waste is municipal solid waste and the figures don’t include institutional or commercial sources.



tonnes of plastic waste per year


Ghana has committed to reducing marine plastic waste by 100% by 2040


ghana spotlight
ghana achievements

Viet Nam

Baseline analyses of plastic waste flows in Viet Nam indicate that the leakage of plastic waste into the country’s water bodies is projected to grow by 106% between 2018 and 2030 to 373,000 tonnes per year. To curb this trend, Viet Nam aims to reduce marine plastics by 75% and to collect 100% of abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear by 2030. The NPAP will work with the Government of Viet Nam to reduce marine plastic waste by 75% by 2030, introduce 100% environmentally friendly plastic bags and packaging at shopping centres and supermarkets, and ensure 85% of plastic waste generated is collected, reused or recycled by 2025.



tonnes of plastic waste per year


Viet Nam has committed to reducing marine plastic waste by 75% by 2030


viet nam spotlight
key achievements VN


Thanks to the support of the Government of Nigeria and the leadership of Minister Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, Nigeria joined GPAP in January 2021. NPAP Nigeria will work with local and international organizations, businesses, development banks and other financial institutions, civil society, and the Government to deliver a platform that supports the Minister and the Nigeria Circular Economy Working Group in delivering system change that addresses the plastics crisis. By bringing together Nigeria’s leaders, the NPAP aims to produce a locally driven action plan to drastically reduce plastics pollution.



tonnes of plastic waste per year


of Nigeria's plastic waste ends up as pollution


next steps nigeria

Working with additional regions

lenely whale

Join our community

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Our members

Partner Governments
Government of Ghana
Government of Indonesia
Government of Nigeria
Government of Viet Nam

Steering Board
Government of Canada
The Coca-Cola Company
Global Environmental Fund (GEF)
PepsiCo Inc.
Government of the United Kingdom
World Economic Forum
World Resources Institute
The World Bank

Advisory Committee
Alliance to End Plastic Waste
Circulate Capital
Common Seas
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Ocean Conservancy
The Pew Charitable Trusts
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
The University of Georgia
Wageningen University & Research
Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
WWF International

Affiliate Members
Borealis AG
Bye Bye Plastic Bags
Deme Group
Engro – Dawood Hercules
Gemini Corporation NV
Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited
International Atomic Energy Agency
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.
Lonely Whale
Morgan Stanley & Co International Plc
The Ocean Cleanup
Suntory Holdings Limited

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