our chance

to end





Plastic is everywhere in our everyday lives. From packaging to microbeads in body washes, it’s used widely because it’s versatile, cheap and convenient. But this convenience comes with a price.

Of eight billion tonnes of plastic produced since large-scale production of the fossil-fuel-based material began in the 1950s[1], less than 10 per cent has been recycled, meaning more than 90 per cent has either been landfilled, incinerated, or survives to this day to leak into the environment. With production set to treble over the next decade, we will be drowning in 25 billion tonnes of plastic waste by 2060[2] . The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (in weight)[3] .
Alongside the escalating waste problem is a growing concern about the risks to the climate and human health posed by toxic chemicals across the plastic production pipeline, including chemicals that leach from plastic during use and as waste. These harmful substances contaminate the water we drink, the food we eat and even the air we breathe. Our latest research brought together world-leading researchers from the fields of healthcare, the ocean and the environment who concluded that the numerous toxic chemicals used by plastic manufacturers increase the risk of miscarriage, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other major health concerns.



The UN Plastic Treaty

This dire outlook isn’t news to world leaders. The plastic problem is, in fact, so widely recognised that 193 United Nations Member States are currently negotiating a legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution. The second meeting (INC-2) of the negotiating committee is in Paris from 29 May 2023 to 2 June.

To end plastic pollution, we can’t just address plastic waste – we need to look at the source of the problem, the companies making polymers, the building blocks of all plastic. According to our recently released Plastic Waste Makers Index, more than half of the world’s single-use plastic waste could be traced directly to just 20 petrochemical companies[4].

History has shown that it is difficult to effect meaningful change at a country level; plastic doesn’t respect borders and doesn’t easily degrade, that’s why we need 193 member states to work together to tackle the problem. This treaty presents a unique opportunity for humanity and our world to harmonise efforts in addressing this global problem to create a future free from plastic pollution harm.

Minderoo Foundation is working to eliminate the harmful effects of plastic pollution from people and the planet. Our submission ahead of the latest negotiation meeting for the treaty calls for UN member states to:

End plastic pollution and protect human health and the environment from the adverse impacts of plastic pollution by:

Limiting fossil-fuel plastic production and consumption;

Supporting transition to a safe and just circular economy for plastics, including by ensuring that plastic products and materials are designed to enable circularity and are circulated in practice;

Eliminating problematic and harmful substances and materials;

Eliminating plastic leakage to the environment across the life cycle, including through environmentally sound plastic waste management; and

Aligning all public and private financial flows with the treaty’s objectives, such that harmful flows are eliminated, and resources for transition to a safe and just circular plastics economy are increased.


the Plastic Forecast

Plastic breaks down into tiny particles in our environment, including our atmosphere. These are constantly falling to the ground, even more so when captured in rain.

The Plastic Forecast combines research on atmospheric plastic dynamics[5] with traditional weather forecasts to estimate the daily ‘plastic fall’ in an easy-to-understand weather report for Paris to visualise the extent and weight of the problem.
While the figures in the report were predominantly based on fiber shaped micro particles, the latest studies are finding more types, shapes, and smaller plastic particles. It is therefore sadly very likely that the actual amount of plastic being deposited is much higher than the Plastic Forecast estimates.


Support capping plastic production and ending plastic pollution

Help us change the forecast. The world is already at full plastic capacity; our mission is to change that.

Share the forecast  to spread the word. Add your voice to ours  to call for a robust treaty to help change the forecast for our and future generations.



Plastic Forecast

The Plastic Forecast estimates the daily ‘plastic fall’ in an easy-to-understand weather report for Paris.

Minderoo-Monaco Commission on Plastics and Human Health

The Minderoo- Monaco Commission on Plastics and Human Health finds that plastics are both a boon to humanity and a stealth threat to human and planetary health.

Plastic Waste Makers Index

In this 2023 edition, the Plastic Waste Makers Index includes new estimates of cradle-to-grave greenhouse gas emissions from single-use plastics, demonstrating how single-use plastics producers also contribute to the climate crisis

Price of Plastic Pollution

This paper offers a detailed study which shows that plastic’s range of harmful impacts could trigger potentially colossal liability claims against the petrochemical industry.


[1] MacLeod M, Arp HPH, Tekman MB, Jahnke A. The global threat from plastic pollution. Science. 2021; 373(6550): 61–65. DOI:

[2] Geyer R, Jambeck JR, Law KL. Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Sci Adv. 2017; 3(7): e170078. DOI:

[3] World Economic Forum, 2016, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics

[4] Charles D & Kimman L (2023), Plastic Waste Makers Index 2023, Minderoo Foundation

[5] Dris, R., Gasperi, J., Tassin, B. (2018). Sources and Fate of Microplastics in Urban Areas: A Focus on Paris Megacity. In: Wagner, M., Lambert, S. (eds) Freshwater Microplastics . The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, vol 58. Springer, Cham.