Submit your paper to the special Issue "Social-Ecological Systems and Marine Plastic Pollution" for the journal Sustainability

Takuro Uehara and Mateo Cordier are guest editors for a Special issue on the "Social-Ecological Systems and Marine Plastic Pollution" for the journal Sustainability.

They decided to focus this special issue on non-technological solutions.

The amount of plastic waste present in global social–ecological systems (SESs) cannot be neglected. Living in the “plasticene”, solutions to marine plastic pollution should be analyzed and designed considering they are part of the SES; ignoring this might lead to new problems. While making an immediate and significant investment terminating and eradicating marine plastic waste could slow the economy, the procrastination of action could harm both society and the environment to an unforeseeable and irreversible degree. A solution needs to consider how it impacts the SES as marine plastic pollution and its treatment are part of the SES.

In this Special Issue, we invite you to submit analysis focusing on non-technological solutions rather than technological innovations. Technological solutions alone are not sufficient to solve this issue. Furthermore, a solution must be feasible and effective in the context of SES. What kinds of non-technological solutions would be feasible and able to effectively reduce marine plastic pollution and contribute to a desirable SES? This is the research question addressed in this Special Issue, which will accept original and review research that addresses the following topics (non-exhaustive list):

  • Social–ecological system modeling and simulation analysis;
  • Governance (e.g., better regulation and control);
  • Nudges (e.g., governmental information campaigns, information nudges, and default rules (Sunstein et al., 2019));
  • Command and control policies (e.g., banning single-use plastic products and forbidding planned obsolescence of products);
  • Incentive mechanisms (e.g., a return and deposit system);
  • Environmental education and education for sustainable development to encourage pro-environmental behavior;
  • Holistic assessment of non-technological solutions with respect to their impacts on the SES;
  • COVID-19 and marine plastic pollution.


This Special Issue is open to all scientific fields, such as natural sciences, engineering and technology, medical and health sciences, social sciences, and humanities, as long as they fit the scope described above.

For more information