Ocean Recovery Alliance

Wharton Journal - Trade Borders

By Doug Woodring and Trish Hyde

- Published on July 17, 2019 by Wharton Journal

As we confront the vast challenges associated with giving plastic a second life, we now have to contend with two large-scale trade wars. One, which is not directly related to plastic, involves the world’s two largest economies: China and the U.S. The other is much broader in scope: using environmental trade barriers as a proxy for national benefit. This trend should be expected to continue, as plastic pollution is not the only ill that countries share with one another—but it is one that has generated a lot of mindshare and momentum across virtually every country. Nations that stand to lose heavily in the short term include Canada, the U.S., Spain, Britain, Australia, and Japan. All of a sudden, the idea of extended producer responsibility has taken on a global meaning, in the form of extended exporter responsibility. 

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