Government & Institution Lead

Common Seas

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About Common Seas

Common Seas is a not-for-profit enterprise on a mission to quickly and significantly reduce the amount of plastic produced and stop it polluting our rivers and seas. Our global team works across government, business and society to leverage change by driving new policy, investing in the circular economy and catalysing a cultural shift in how we make, use and dispose of plastic.

How you will support our mission

To tackle plastic pollution, we need to enable governments to deliver effective policies that reduce the volume of plastic made and stop it from polluting rivers and seas. You will lead on engagement with national, local and institutional policy makers to support the design, effective implementation and evaluation of these policies.

You will be able to draw on a deep understanding of how policy helps nations transition towards a plastics circular economy, as well as familiarity with stakeholder engagement for policy making, and insights into supporting financial and technological mechanisms. As our Government and Institution Lead, you will be responsible for: Producing Plastic Drawdown V2.0

Plastic Drawdown is a model and toolkit that helps governments and policy makers rapidly understand their countries’ plastic waste flows and identify and prioritise the most effective policy interventions to tackle ocean pollution.

We have prototyped Plastic Drawdown with governments and policy makers in Greece, the UK, Indonesia and Maldives. Having gathered user feedback, we are ready to invest in the delivery of Plastic Drawdown 2.0. This new version of Plastic Drawdown will improve the model functionality, user interface and data management system, and provide a policy toolkit that supports users to translate model findings into national strategies for their specific situation.

This role will direct a team of Common Seas colleagues, contracted individuals and university researchers, including modellers, policy advisors and software engineers. You will be responsible for delivering Plastic Drawdown 2.0 and ensuring it meets the needs of our primary end users – who are mostly in low- or middle-income Commonwealth Countries.

Delivering Plastic Drawdown V2.0 in ten new countries by 2022 Drawing on your experience, technical knowledge and network (as well as Common Seas’ existing relationships), you will deliver Plastic Drawdown 2.0 in ten new countries by the end of 2022. We will prioritise working with countries that have a strong proven desire to meaningfully address plastic pollution, but that are time poor and under-resourced. You will lead the relationships with the relevant government staff and decision makers across each country’s plastics circular network.

Tasks will include:

  •  Data gathering and producing the country’s Plastic Drawdown model.
  • Developing model outputs into policy recommendations.
  • Commissioning and delivering country-specific technical research, for example concerning economic mechanisms, supporting technology infrastructure and primary research to test the feasibility of model recommendations.
  • Preparing and presenting evidence and recommendations through technical and nontechnical reports and engaging presentations.
  • Curating and facilitating in-country stakeholder engagement.
  • Providing ongoing technical advice to ensure policy implementation and evaluation.
  • Providing technical policy advice in our lighthouse markets – Greece, Maldives and Indonesia.

Your near-term focus will include advising our in-country teams, government and decision makers to design, implement and evaluate policy to:

  • Indonesia: Develop Extended Producers Responsibility for single-use diapers.
  • Maldives: Phase-out single-use plastic bottles. This will include incentivising plastic waste free alternative delivery systems for beverage bottles, personal care and household cleaning products.
  • Greece: Demonstrate to the Greek Government that our demonstration project on the island of Paros can be scaled to help the country deliver an ambitious response to the EU Single-Use Plastic Directive. This will include phasing out straws and bags, DRS
    for cups, and separate collection of see-through beverage containers.

What we’re looking for:


• Technical understanding and practical experience designing and implementing government and/ or business policies and systems that enable a country to transition to a plastics circular economy and eradicate plastic pollution. You should have knowledge of critical mitigation strategies including EPR, DRS and waste collection, aggregation, re-use and recycling.

• At least five years professional experience, and ideally an associated MSc or above, in a related field. This could be circular economy, waste and resource management, engineering, environmental management, and EU or government related departments.

• Portfolio of work that demonstrates ability to implement plastic waste mapping, and evidence of ability to produce and facilitate implementation of plastic pollution mitigation plans.

• A demonstrable knack for stakeholder engagement. You won’t just be able to identify partners from across municipal and national governments, industry, commercial and community sectors, you’ll know how to understand, convene and empower them to act on plastic pollution mitigation.

• Exceptional project manager, a critical thinker with a systematic approach to research, who is articulate and engaging when communicating complex data verbally and through technical reports.

• The right characteristics for working in low- and middle- income countries.

• A strong commitment to our core mission and a desire to support all stakeholders to join this voyage – from in-house researchers to government ministers.


• Quantitative and modelling skills (e.g. Excel, R, Python) or demonstrable experience coordinating the delivery of modelling projects.

• Analysis of financial information and market data to support a business case for investment.

• Experience working in a cross-cultural context.

Working environment

You can either work remotely, or from one of our offices in Bristol, London or Athens. If working remotely, you should consider traveling to spend time with the team twice a month. You will report to our Managing Director and work closely with our Programme Director and our Head of Plastics Circular Economy.