This article was originally published on 13th May 2019 at Jericho Online. Reproduced here with full permissions.

From the UN in 2017 to the EU in 2018, we have become accustomed to organisations and countries declaring ‘war on plastic waste’. However, less considered is a ‘war over plastic waste’ — a prospect which has been building in recent years and now threatens to boil over, potentially stretching already tense global diplomacy to breaking point.

Unlike the war on plastic waste, this hypothetical is not entirely figurative. In April, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte…