Here you can access key parameters needed to run the leakage models, as well as reference to the leakage models to be used for corporate/product plastic footprint of country plastic pollution hotspotting.


Plastic leakage represents the plastic pollution that is released in the environment. Leakage is most often reported for plastic entering rivers and oceans, but plastic leakage also affects other environmental compartments (e.g. soils, air).

Any plastic that is mismanaged is prone to leak. The leakage is thus derived from the MWI (Mismanaged Waste Index) and Littering Rates (LR) through Release Rates (RR).

When running plastic leakage calculation, it is key to use polymer specific MWI in order to yield representative results.

Several models to assess the leakage are being developed by different organisations. The data provided in PLASTEAX can feed these different models. While leakage rates may evolve as understanding of the leakage pathways improves, the MWI will remain a close reflection of the waste management situation.

Below we propose 2 models and the most up-to date release rates (RR) to be used for the leakage calculation: 1) The PLP model is to be used at product/corporate level and 2) the UNEP/IUCN guidance takes a national or sub-national approach.



For the product corporate approach: the release rates to use are the ones based on application size and residual values.

As described in the PLP guidance.



For the geographic approach: the release rates to use are the ones based on distance to shore and hydrological parameters.

As described in the UNEP - IUCN National Guidance for Plastic Pollution and Shaping Action.