© WWF / Troy Mayne
No Plastic In Nature
Useful but problematic
Plastic is incredibly useful and practical – and everywhere. Our modern life depends on it.
Strong, light and adaptable, it’s in everything from household goods, medical equipment and bank notes, to packaging, motor vehicles, buildings and fishing nets.

As useful as plastic is, excessive use and ineffective waste management mean it has rapidly become one of the most widespread pollutants on our planet. It’s a truly global crisis, suffocating our rivers and oceans, contaminating the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink, and exacerbating climate change.
Photo by Justin Hofman / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 
© Justin Hofman
© Justin Hofman

No Plastic in Nature Newsletter

Stay informed about progress towards an effective global treaty on plastic pollution - sign up to our newsletter.

© shutterstock


Climate Change
  • By 2050, based on current projections, production and incineration of plastics will account for 10-13% of the global annual carbon budget.
Biodiversity Loss
  • 700 species – from tiny zooplankton, to fish, birds and the largest whales – are harmed by entanglement in or ingestion of plastic.

Social & Economic

Human Health
  • There is growing evidence of widespread human ingestion of plastic from contaminated food and water, particularly microplastics. Although toxicological risks are poorly understood, toxic chemicals may bio-accumulate within body tissue.
  • An estimated $622 million is lost every year in the Asia-Pacific region alone due to waste and clean-up costs, affecting the livelihoods of communities reliant on tourism.
© WWF Madagascar
No Plastic In Nature Initiative
Plastic doesn’t belong in nature. But keeping it out of our ecosystems and within a circular economy is a complex challenge.
WWF’s No Plastic in Nature Initiative works across the life cycle of plastic to:
  • reduce the amount of new plastic produced
  • increase the reuse of plastic already in circulation
  • eliminate leakage of plastic into nature

Our initiative is built on three core pillars:
  • Global Governance
  • Business Engagement
  • Plastic Smart Cities


Stay informed about progress towards an effective global treaty on plastic pollution - sign up to our newsletter.

“Realising our vision of no plastic in nature will take nothing short of a revolution. Addressing the plastic problem in our oceans and rivers is everyone’s responsibility. Governments, business and consumers all have a role to play.”

Cristianne Close
Markets Practice Leader

© Richard Barret / WWF-UK
Global Governance
Without an international treaty on plastic pollution, its global management is fragmented and ineffective.

To accelerate progress toward a circular economy and stop plastic entering the natural world, WWF is leading global advocacy for a legally binding UN treaty on plastic pollution.

Many UN member states, alongside some of the world’s leading companies and millions of citizens, are calling for a global agreement that defines binding targets to guide national action plans. Such a treaty would not only increase government and business accountability; it also makes business sense. It could help harmonize policy efforts, enhance investment planning, stimulate innovation and coordinate infrastructure development.

Stop Polluting Our Oceans

Quick Guide to a Global Plastic Pollution Treaty 

We’re calling on governments to introduce a global legally-binding UN agreement to stop plastics polluting our oceans.

You can help by signing our petition.

Criteria for a Treaty

Success Criteria for a New Treaty on Plastic Pollution - September 2021 

Find out more about what would make for an effective global treaty on plastic pollution.

Business Engagement
Just 100 top companies could prevent the generation of 10 million tons of plastic waste – and action across sectors and supply chains could triple the impact.

Engaging with these businesses through platforms such as ReSource: Plastic, the Plastic Action (PACT) and the growing network of national Plastics Pacts around the world, we are transforming the plastic value chain. Our efforts focus on reducing unnecessary use; redesigning packaging; increasing reuse and recycling; and using sustainable alternative materials.

Stemming the flow of plastic into nature requires significant investments in a circular plastics economy. We are working with many governments and businesses on extended producer responsibility programs that hold manufacturers financially accountable for managing their plastic products and packaging’s end-of-life impacts.

No Plastic in Nature - A Practical Guide for Business Engagement 

Our report, No Plastic in Nature: A Practical Guide for Business Engagement, offers practical guidance for companies looking to drive systemic change through strategic collaboration, design and innovation.

And companies can help us all make better choices.

© Shutterstock
Plastic Smart Cities
With over half of the world's population already living in urban areas, reducing plastic use and improving waste management in cities offers a unique opportunity to significantly reduce plastic pollution.

WWF’s Plastic Smart Cities programme is working with pilot cities in five countries – Philippines, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand – to improve policy and governance, facilitate industry roundtables, and support entrepreneurial solutions that reduce plastic waste and increase collection, separation and recycling.

WWF has also developed a global Plastic Smart Cities platform to share lessons and showcase the growing range of solutions for cities to address plastic pollution.

New Plastics Economy

Our partner, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, have developed a blueprint for change - the New Plastics Economy.

By uniting businesses, governments and other actors behind one common vision, this global initiative aims to rethink and redesign the future of plastics and build a plastics system that works