Addressing marine plastic pollution as a 'wicked' problem of transnational environmental governance

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McIntyre, Owen
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Lawtext Publishing Limited
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Recent scientific research and related media publicity concerning the nature and scale of the problem of marine plastic pollution (‘MPP’) has shone a spotlight on the difficult task of designing and implementing effective legal responses to address this complex environmental challenge. Key among these challenges is that of the ‘fragmentation’ of the diverse environmental law frameworks applying to MPP. The regulatory difficulties associated with the environmental problem of plastic waste and pollution more generally are inextricably linked to the transnational character of globalized supply chains, not alone for plastic products, but for the treatment or disposal of plastic waste and for all internationally traded goods which incorporate or come packaged in plastics of one form or another. In such an uncertain regulatory landscape, beset by legal fragmentation and numerous regulatory lacunae, the rapidly emerging paradigm of global or transnational environmental law (TEL) may offer an innovative means of controlling, informing and guiding the related activities of producers, manufacturers, exporters, importers, distributors, retailers and consumers across global supply chains.
Marine plastic pollution , Legal fragmentation , Transnational environmental law
McIntyre, O. (2020) 'Addressing marine plastic pollution as a 'wicked' problem of transnational environmental governance', Environmental Liability - Law, Policy and Practice, 25(6), pp. 282-295.