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The Plastic Pipeline

The Wilson Center's China Environment Forum and Serious Games Initiative are currently developing an educational digital game, The Plastic Pipeline, which will raise public awareness on the plastic product lifecycle and policies that can be enacted to help stem the tide of pollution going into our oceans. Partially funded by the National Geographic Society, this project will address the mounting issue of plastics and target diverse audiences around the globe and extend to related projects on waste management, disposal, and recycling around the globe. The Plastic Pipeline will tell the story of what happens to a plastic product before and after it enters the consumer’s hands.

Ocean plastics are a huge problem. Eleven million tons of plastic waste entered the ocean in 2016 alone and without immediate action, this number will triple by 2040. While we as consumers can do our part by tossing single-use plastics in the recycling bin, only 15 percent of plastic waste worldwide is recycled and much of the plastic life cycle occurs beyond their scope of control. Consumers need to understand not only what happens that shapes plastic products from cradle to grave, but also key policy options and their impact on stemming plastic pollution.