Southeast Asians are among the top respondents advocating for an end to single-use plastic

Manila, Jakarta, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur – Eight out of 10 people support cutting plastic production revealed a new Greenpeace International report ahead of the fourth Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC4) meeting for a Global Plastics Treaty to be held in Ottawa, Canada this month. The survey, which was conducted in February across 19 countries, indicates overwhelming public backing for measures aimed at ending single-use plastics and promoting reuse-based solutions.

The Philippines topped the list of respondents who say that the Global Plastics Treaty must ban single-use plastic packaging (88%), and tied with Indonesian respondents (97%) who say that the treaty should include targets that oblige governments and corporations to transition away from single-use plastic packaging to reusable and refillable packaging. Filipinos are also the most concerned about the health effects of plastics on their loved ones (94%) and are the second most concerned about the effect on their own health (93%).

At the UN negotiations, Malaysia is considered one of the low-ambition countries as the government is not pushing for reduction. However, Malaysian respondents (87%) showed a significantly stronger desire for proactive measures to support cutting plastic production” compared to global averages, highlighting the need for governmental action and support for a robust Global Plastics Treaty. Meanwhile, Thai respondents were mostly concerned about reducing plastic production to stop biodiversity loss and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (88%), higher than the global averages. This reflects the people’s sentiments on the need for the Thai government to prioritize the protection of natural resources, human health, and to move towards a just energy transition.

Other key findings include:

  • 82% of global respondents support cutting the production of plastic to stop plastic pollution.[1]
  • 80% of global respondents advocate for protecting biodiversity and the climate by reducing plastics production.[2]
  • 75% of global respondents support a ban on single-use plastic packaging.[1]

Marian Ledesma, Greenpeace Philippines Campaigner said:
“Filipinos are against plastic pollution and want genuine and lasting solutions to the plastic crisis because they know it’s harmful to health and the environment. We hope these findings prompt the Philippine delegation to stand with Filipino people in supporting a treaty with ambitious cuts on plastic production. The government should also institute laws to limit plastic production by banning single-use disposable plastics and establishing reuse and refill systems across the country.”

Hema Mahadevan, Greenpeace Malaysia Campaigner said:
“The resounding support for reducing plastic production is a wake-up call to industries and policymakers. It’s time to shift from a throwaway culture to a reuse and refill economy, where products are designed for reuse and longevity – not disposability. Scaling back production is a vital step towards a more sustainable future and we have to act quickly.”

Greenpeace is demanding that the Global Plastics Treaty cuts total plastic production by at least 75% by 2040 to protect biodiversity and ensure that global temperatures stay below 1.5° C. Over 99% of plastic is made from fossil fuels, and with production set to skyrocket, it is a significant driver of climate change. 

The survey reveals consistent support for ambitious action on plastics across all countries, particularly among emerging economies where plastic pollution levels are notably high. A strong  majority of people support these measures across all categories, including 60% of respondents who supported the exclusion of lobbyists from the fossil fuel and chemical industries from treaty negotiations.

Graham Forbes, Greenpeace Head of Delegation to the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations and Global Plastics Campaign Lead for Greenpeace USA, said: 
“We only have two negotiation meetings left – the clock is ticking and we are either heading towards a treaty that will solve the global plastics crisis or end up with a weak treaty that will only let the planet spiral towards disaster. We cannot let the fossil fuel industry dictate the terms of how the world solves a problem that they’ve created. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to solve the plastics crisis – let’s not waste it.”

Government ministers from 173 countries are set to gather at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa, Canada from April 23 to 29, 2024, for the INC4 conference to negotiate a legally binding Treaty.  The last negotiation meeting will happen in Busan, South Korea in November 2024.

The INC3 meeting in Nairobi, Kenya last November 2023 ended in frustration as low-ambition countries derailed the negotiations, with the talks ending without a mandate to create a first draft of the treaty. Instead, the meeting saw the Zero Draft reworked to add weaker options, resulting in a convoluted document.

Notes to the editors: 

The research was conducted by Censuswide, from a sample of 19,088 members of the public  in the UK, USA, Canada, India, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, China, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Austria, and Norway. The data was collected between 16th – 26th February 2024. 

[1] ‘Strongly agree’ and ‘Somewhat agree’ responses combined

[2] ‘Strongly support’ and ‘Somewhat support’ responses combined

[3] ‘Essential’, ‘Very important’, and ‘Fairly important’ responses combined

[4] ‘Very concerned’ and ‘Quite concerned’ responses combined

People vs. Plastic: Global Support for a Strong Plastics Treaty full report can be found here

Executive Summary can be found here.

Greenpeace demands for a Global Plastics Treaty can be found here

Photos and videos are available from the Greenpeace Media Library


Angelica Carballo Pago, Global Plastics Campaign Media Lead, Greenpeace USA

[email protected] , +63 917 1124492 (also in Ottawa, Canada)