How to stop plastics from finding their way into the ocean?

The project ’Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter’ is now working on solutions together with seven countries in East and South East Asia. The project supports a transition towards a circular economy for plastics to reduce plastic waste leakage into the sea. Its activities and pilot projects cover the management of plastic waste, sustainable consumption and production as well as the reduction of litter from sea-based sources.

More information

Call for Ideas – 'Rethinking Plastics' is now looking for pilot project ideas

As part of its activities, the ’Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter’ project is now searching for ideas for pilot projects in the below listed partner countries. It will support selected pilot projects through financial contributions with up to 180,000 EUR. The pilot projects shall establish and disseminate good practices in the area of sustainable consumption and production of plastic, plastic waste management or enhanced efforts in reduction of marine litter from sea-based sources. Interested eligible implementing organisations are invited to share their ideas by submitting a complete concept note (The usage of the concept note template is mandatory). Further process information and deadlines are included in the respective call for ideas document.

We are looking forward to your ideas!


- Call for Ideas Thailand
English Thai
- Concept Note Template
English Thai


- Call for Ideas Vietnam R2
English Vietnamien
- Concept Note Template
English Vietnamien
- Call for Ideas Vietnam R3
English Vietnamien


- Call for Ideas Philippines
- Concept Note Template

Marine litter
a growing
global challenge

Driven by rapid urbanisation, economic development and changing consumption and production patterns, the amount of single-use packaging is rapidly increasing worldwide. At the same time, waste management systems still lack effectiveness in terms of environmentally sound collection, sorting, recycling, energy recovery and disposal of packaging waste.

These trends significantly contribute to marine littering – a growing global threat to marine ecosystems and fisheries, as well as the tourism sector. Marine litter including abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear, affects over 800 species in marine and coastal environments. About 60 to 90% of marine litter consists of plastics, of which much comes from single-use plastic products and packaging.

East and Southeast Asia belong to the major hotspot regions worldwide for plastic waste leakage into the ocean and its potential impacts on biodiversity. Asia accounted for about 50% of global plastics production in 2017, with China alone producing around 29% of the world's plastic. The European Union accounted for about 18.5% of global plastic production. Separate collection and recycling of plastic waste has been increasing over the last decades within the EU. Parts of the EU’s plastic waste have however been exported to East and Southeast Asian countries.

Governments, businesses, academia and civil society increasingly recognise that a switch towards a circular economy approach to plastic waste is necessary to tackle these challenges.
Strengthened cooperation between the EU and partner countries in East and Southeast Asia thus provides mutual opportunities.

A Circular
Economy for

Partner countries

China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam


May 2019 to April 2022


10 million EUR

Commissioned by

European Union (EU), German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Implemented by

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Expertise France (EF)

Areas of Action

Enhancing the basis for policy dialogues between the EU, regional organisations and partner countries in East and Southeast Asia concerning plastic production and management, e.g. in the areas of environment, fisheries and industry


Implementing activities on managing plastic waste, including extended producer responsibility and deposit return schemes for packaging and plastic products, following the waste hierarchy.


Implementing activities for sustainable consumption and production of plastic, including design for reuse and recyclability, standards for plastic recyclates as well as alternatives to plastics and the use of microplastics in products.


Enhancing efforts for the reduction of litter from sea-based sources, including port reception facilities for waste from ships, fishing-for-litter schemes, marine litter from aquaculture and fishing gear


Strengthening green procurement policies, processes and cooperation


Increasing awareness of public authorities and citizens about sustainable consumption and production of plastic and the impacts of littering on the environment




We have developed the Roadmap on Plastic Waste Management 2018 - 2030 as a policy framework in Thailand with all stakeholders. We hope that we will profit from the knowledge and support of the project on our way to implement the Roadmap

Pralong Dumrongthai

Director General of the Pollution Control Department (PCD) in Thailand

Press Release

Bangkok, 13 November 2019. Seven countries in East and Southeast Asia, including Thailand, the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Government will strengthen their cooperation to reduce plastic waste and marine litter... Read more

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