Marine Plastic Pollution


Cities as International Actors



As the impacts of marine plastic pollution become ever more apparent, a number of states have begun calling for the development of a new international agreement to address the problem. While nation states have traditionally been the main entities recognized as having the legal personality to make treaties, cities have the potential to substantially advance efforts to mitigate certain international environmental problems, such as global marine plastic pollution. We argue, on functional grounds, that this potential should be acknowledged—and indeed encouraged—by engaging cities in the development of international action to address these problems. In particular, we suggest a “city supplement” to international agreements dealing with environmental problems where there are functional reasons for involving cities.

Plastics in International Law


Recently, the issue of ocean plastics has been brought to the forefront of public attention. While local and national efforts need to continue to expand, this collective action problem requires global action. However, there is a lack of robust, effective global instruments needed to address the magnitude problem of marine plastic pollution. This survey complies the existing international and regional instruments, with both state and non-state parties, that directly or indirectly address ocean plastic pollution.