Request for proposals

Plastic demand reduction literature review


The plastics industry is the largest energy-consuming industrial sector on the planet. In 2019 the sector emitted 1.8 billion tons of CO₂ equivalent, a figure that is projected to grow to 6.5 billion by 2050. To meet global climate goals, a substantial reduction in plastic consumption is necessary—yet since the 1950s, production volumes have climbed steadily upwards.

Efforts to reduce the volume of plastics consumed have yielded mixed results. For instance, in some cases, plastic bag bans have led to an unintended increase in the use of alternative plastic products. Similarly, initiatives such as straw bans and bottle returns have shown mixed outcomes, highlighting the need to critically review previous policies or initiatives in this area.  As such, ClimateWorks Foundation is commissioning this literature review to better understand the opportunities to reduce plastic demand.

We are requesting proposals for three or four regional reviews of the existing state of knowledge in plastic demand reduction. The objective of these reviews is to assess the effectiveness of previous efforts, including regulation and other significant interventions, that have been implemented to tackle plastic demand. This research will help us inform future grantmaking and advocacy to address the environmental damage of the plastic industry.


We recognize the need for regional knowledge and understand that it may not be feasible for one expert to cover all geographies. As such, we will commission three or four separate contracts based on different regions. At a minimum, we will commission contracts covering North America and Europe and are interested in other regional scopes.

Proposals should describe and evaluate various policies and their outcomes, focusing on their strengths and limitations. Reviews should incorporate learnings from academic peer-reviewed literature and other reputable non-academic sources. They should also cover regional policies to reduce plastic demand, provide insights into their implementation strategies, and explore how these findings can be applied to different regions and contexts. The reviews should include quantitative information about the amount of plastic covered by policies or other initiatives and the achieved real-world reductions.

Submission format

Proposals will be accepted in the form of a two-page scope of work. This should include:

  • regional scope of work;
  • a preliminary budget and timeline of the project;
  • short biographies of you or your team;
  • a summary of your qualifications to carry out this work, including a list of previous similar projects or relevant qualifications.

The contracts will be for six months, with a preference for faster completion times.

The budgetary guideline for these contracts is $30,000 each, with some flexibility available.

RFP timeline

The deadline for submissions is July 29, 2023. Submissions should be emailed to Questions can also be directed to that email address.

ClimateWorks expects to award deliverable-based contracts for around $30,000 per contract to the winner(s) of the RFP by the end of Q3 2023. The contract terms will be finalized with the recipients based on their input and scope of work.

Key dates

  • June 29: RFP published; applications period is open.
  • July 31: Proposals due by this date.
  • August: Contract awarded.