Global Island Island Industrial Ecology Material Flow Analysis (MFA) Plastics Plastics Waste
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Plastic management and Development on islands
The plastic soup is caused by large consumption and improper waste management of plastics
worldwide. A global change in plastic management is needed to counter further growth of this
problem. Many studies have been done on improving plastic management in large countries and
regions, but islands have often been overlooked. Additionally, plastic pollution often ends up on the
shorelines of islands, making sustainable plastic management a necessity on islands. This study
investigates plastic management measures that contribute most effectively to sustainable plastic
management and development on Texel and Sint Maarten. Firstly, the West Frisian Islands and the
Dutch Caribbean Islands are analysed according to the island characteristics that influence the local
plastic management system. Secondly, Material Flow Analyses of plastics are conducted for the West
Frisian Islands and the Dutch Caribbean Islands to get an overview of the plastic product, waste, and
pollution flows and discover specific trends surrounding plastics on the islands. Thirdly, Scenario
Analyses are presented for the two case studies Texel and Sint Maarten, which show potential
pathways towards sustainable plastic management on these islands. The results show that reducing
plastic consumption is a slightly more effective strategy to improve sustainable plastic management
and development than managing plastic waste and pollution. Furthermore, the methods utilized in this
study have shown to be innovative and effective in improving plastic management systems on islands.
Still, additional research is needed on macro- and microplastic flows, measures, and their impacts on
islands worldwide to significantly contribute in reducing the plastic soup.
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