Plastic Leak Guidance

Plastics are extensively utilized materials. From 1950 to 2017, global plastic production steadily rose to reach 415,000,000 tons per year, with Europe contributing 64,400,000 tons per year. However, a significant issue arises when certain plastics are not effectively recycled or managed at their end-of-life, resulting in potential environmental pollution—a phenomenon commonly referred to as leakage.

Addressing the leakage of plastic from the human technosphere is crucial for enhancing material circularity. As the urgency and awareness surrounding plastic leakage grow, companies and public authorities are making bold commitments to reduce their plastic leakage. To effectively tackle this problem, stakeholders need to identify and address leaks within their respective industries and supply chains. Reliable and transparent information on plastic leakage is vital to enable companies to identify hotspots and implement effective systemic interventions. Unfortunately, such information has not been available until now.


The Plastic Leak Project (PLP) aims to bridge this knowledge gap by developing new methodologies and metrics for assessing plastic leakage within the life cycle assessment (LCA) framework. The PLP offers industry-specific guidance as well as comprehensive datasets to conduct plastic leakage assessments. By supporting companies in identifying the most relevant and fruitful actions and strategies to « close the tap » on plastic leakage, the PLP aims to make a meaningful contribution to mitigating this issue.

“The Plastic Leak Project has made important advancements towards a credible accounting system for plastic leakage at product level. This process has brought together many key organizations and provided a robust way forward. It’s essential that all stakeholders commit to improving data collection and transparency regarding plastic value chains, waste management, and pollution, and we see these guidelines as one piece of the puzzle as we work towards our broader No Plastic in Nature Vision.”



EA – Earth Action

Lausanne, Switzerland

Ch. des vignes d’argent 7

1004 Lausanne Suisse