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OR&R Participates in Expert Working Group Determining Social Costs of Plastic

MAY 20, 2024 — The NOAA Marine Debris Program Chief Scientist, Amy V. Uhrin, attended the first meeting of the Social Cost of Plastic Pollution Working Group of the National Center for Environmental Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS).

Members of the NCEAS Working Group on the Social Cost of Plastic Pollution held their first meeting May 13 - 16 at the NCEAS facility in Santa Barbra, CA.
Members of the NCEAS Working Group on the Social Cost of Plastic Pollution held their first meeting May 13 - 16 at the NCEAS facility in Santa Barbra, CA. Image credit: NCEAS.

During the meeting, held May 13-16 in Santa Barbara, California, the NOAA Marine Debris program awarded NCEAS $350,000 for their project to form the Working Group on the Cost of Plastic Pollution with an aim to develop a framework for estimating the dollar value of avoided plastic pollution. The framework is intended for regulatory-impact analysis and to inform local, state, and federal policy decisions.

The framework seeks to relate the probability of a given piece of plastic being released into the marine environment with its probability of causing a given harm to a range of marginal damage functions. Future policies for plastic pollution that vary any of those probabilities, harms, or damages could then be evaluated in terms of their relative benefits and costs.

The working group is currently composed of ten experts from a range of disciplines, sectors, career stages, and institutions including a postdoctoral fellow that is funded by the award.

Last updated Tuesday, May 28, 2024 4:24am PDT