Following the rapid rise in public concern about the environmental damage caused by single use plastics, the communities engaged in the debate now include the UK government, NGOs, retailers and fast-food chains. As the space gets crowded, which organisations have an influential voice and how are the different communities connecting?

As a follow-up to our analysis of the impact of Blue Planet II, here's an updated map of the key stakeholders operating in the debate on #SingleUsePlastic. First, a quick introduction to our approach. 'Key stakeholders' means individuals or organisations who are both influential AND well connected in discussions about a specific topic. By influential, we mean those who are referenced by others who are themselves highly referenced in a debate. This was originally how Google ranked its search engine results pages. By well connected, we mean those who act as gatekeepers. They are key to information flow and have the power to

encourage (or prevent) dialogue. When we last examined this issue in 2017 the UK government was not a significant presence, but as discussion of plastic waste reduction moves towards action, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Defra have become important reference points for the main campaigning organisations.  The retail sector is also being drawn into the debate and the supermarkets cluster is now far more pronounced than it was in 2017. There are both good and bad reasons for this trend. The UK Plastics Pact launched last month has created a forum for collective action by 2025. In the meantime retailers and manufacturers… read more »