How Does Plastic Waste Affect The Environment – Science studies show that about 80% of the annual plastic flow into the environment could be prevented using existing technology.
A man stands among plastic waste at Juhu beach in Mumbai, India, on June 30, 2019. Garbage washed ashore during storms.
- 1 How Does Plastic Waste Affect The Environment
- 2 How Does Plastic Waste Affect Marine Life?
- 3 How Plastic Is Made Fuels A Toxic Waste Problem
How Does Plastic Waste Affect The Environment
More than 29 million metric tons of plastic enter the environment each year, where it harms animals and damages habitats. The study was co-authored by researchers from The Pew Charitable Trusts and published in
Glass Or Plastic: Which Is Better For The Environment?
July 23 found, however, that this flow could be reduced by about 80% over the next 20 years using existing waste management and recycling technology.
To achieve this reduction, significant changes are needed in the way countries manage plastic waste—both upstream (production and design) and downstream (use and disposal). Changes include reducing the use of plastic, replacing plastic wherever possible, improving recycling strategies, expanding waste collection, and building better disposal facilities.
Even if immediate and concrete action is taken, studies show that 710 million metric tons of plastic waste will enter aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems between 2016 and 2040.
“While the technology exists to address many of the challenges of plastic waste, the infrastructure and business processes are not yet in place,” said Winnie Lau, senior officer of Pew’s Prevent Ocean Plastics Project and lead author of the study. “There needs to be substantial investment in collection infrastructure, plastic alternatives, and recycling facilities before we are able to see real change.”
How Big Oil And Big Soda Kept The Plastics Crisis A Secret For Decades
Increasingly, research is showing the negative effects of plastic pollution on wildlife. More than 800 species are known to be harmed by this contamination either by ingestion or entanglement. People are also affected. Drinking bottles and other plastic litter litter beaches, blocks and other wastewater systems, and provide a breeding ground for disease vectors. The combined economic cost of plastic pollution in fishing, tourism and shipping is estimated at at least $13 billion annually.
The rapid increase in plastic pollution over the past few decades is due to single-use plastic consumption and a growing throw-away culture. In addition, most waste management systems lack the capacity to safely dispose of or recycle the amount of waste plastic being produced globally.
Because plastic is so ubiquitous, no single global strategy exists to address this pollution. The diversity of plastic types also makes the problem difficult to tackle effectively: although rigid plastics dominate recycling, flexible and multi-material plastic waste must be tackled using other strategies.
To measure the potential of different strategies to reduce plastic pollution, the researchers developed a model to calculate the flow of plastic through its production, use, recycling and disposal. The model estimates the amount of input of plastic waste into the environment and was used to assess the impact of five scenarios: business as usual; collection and disposal improvements; increasing recycling; reducing plastic use and substituting alternatives; and system change, which integrates all these interventions.
How Does Plastic Waste Affect Marine Life?
It shows that system changes will reduce annual rates of aquatic and terrestrial plastic pollution by about 80% by 2040 compared to current projections. Such reforms will also reduce the production and consumption of newly manufactured plastics by 55%. If manufacturers move to alternative materials such as paper and compostable materials, and ensure that products and packaging are designed for reuse, not only will the amount of recyclable plastic increase, but the price will increase.
To achieve a nearly 80% reduction, global recycling capacity needs to double, and middle- and low-income countries need to expand waste collection rates. Strategies focused solely on downstream solutions (collection and disposal, or recycling) would significantly reduce annual plastic pollution rates (56.1% and 31.7% by 2040, respectively), but would not come close to solving the problem. Meanwhile, strategies focused only on upstream solutions (reduction and replacement) will also not lead to significant but not complete reductions in annual pollution rates (55.6% by 2040).
The cost of implementing system change is not prohibitive. In fact, due to reductions in plastic production, recyclability and other changes, researchers estimate that global net waste disposal costs will decrease by about 18%.
Unfortunately, significant accumulation of plastic waste will continue even in the system change scenario. Eliminating the flow of almost all plastic pollution into the environment will require new business models and advanced waste management technologies, and commitments from the international community.
How Plastic Is Made Fuels A Toxic Waste Problem
Plastic has become ubiquitous in stores and in our homes. From packaged food and disposable bottles to microbeads in body washes, it is widely used in packaging or products because it is versatile, cheap and convenient. But this feature comes with a price.
Press Releases & Statements July 23, 2020 Research predicts the flow of plastic into the ocean will triple by 2040.
A new analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ finds that the annual flow of plastic into the oceans could nearly triple by 2040 without immediate and sustained action. But the study also identified solutions that could reduce this amount by more than 80 percent. Technologies available today. The world is facing a plastic crisis, there is no alternative to the status quo. Plastic pollution is a serious issue of global concern that requires an urgent and international response involving all relevant stakeholders at various levels. The purpose of this page is to list relevant information, research, data and/or press releases issued by our partners in Geneva and other organizations around the world.
The Plastics and the Environment series is a set of online resources on the plastic crisis, its impact on people and the environment, and international cooperation to address this global problem. Compiled by the Geneva Environment Network, the series includes sources and news from organizations in and outside Geneva, including UN-system organizations and other IOs, government officials, civil society organizations, academic institutions and journals, and well-known newspapers. The page provides an overview of the various issues surrounding plastic pollution. Detailed information and resources are available by clicking on the “Focus” buttons for each section.
Plastics Pose Biggest Threat To Oceans
The latest news is smoke and mirrors. Reality of plastic credit and offsetting Get Free from Plastic and the Global Alliance Against Incinerator Alternatives 16 Nov 2023 PepsiCo Sued by New York State for Plastic Pollution | BBC 16 November 2023 Characterization of microplastics in clouds over eastern China Xinmiao Xu, , Tao Li, Jiebo Zhen, et al. | environment Science Technology. Late. | 15 November 2023 The Global Plastics Treaty: An Endocrinologist’s Assessment | Marina Olga Fernandez, Leonardo Trasande 14 November 2023 What to expect during critical talks to end plastic pollution | UNEP 13 November 2023 This week in Nairobi, nations gather for the third round of negotiations on the International Plastics Treaty, focusing on its scope and ambition. Indoor weather news 13 November 2023 Global Plastics Treaty, Iran surprisingly announces new alliance The Global Alliance for Plastic Sustainability wants to water down the treaty’s purpose and definition Tosca Ballerini | 13 November 2023 The world is drowning in plastic. Oil producers want to have a say in how to clean it up NPR | 13 Nov 2023 #BreakFreeFromPlastic reacts to the formation of a group of ‘like-minded’ plastic-producing countries led by Iran and Saudi Arabia that could curb ambitions in global plastics treaty negotiations | Free from plastic 13 November 2023 Artists, activists call for global plastics treaty to end plastic age | Greenpeace International ‘Jail Free Out’ | How plastic offsetting is giving industry a license to pollute Source material 13 November 2023 The world is choking on plastic pollution. Can countries find solutions? | Bloomberg 13 Nov 2023 Better Options 3.0 | A case study in bioplastic production and packaging 5 GYRES IPCP Policy Brief: Conflicts of Interest in the Assessment of Plastics IPCP 10 November 2023 Ambition to beat plastic pollution Plastic is fueling the climate crisis. By 2040, up to 19% of global greenhouse gas emissions will originate from plastics. To meet the target of 1.5° global temperature rise and #BeatPlasticPollution, we need a Plastics Treaty to reduce plastic production. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, 15 November 2023 Every minute, 1 truckload of plastic waste is thrown into the ocean. To beat plastic pollution and reduce its impact, we need to reduce plastic production. Change starts with each of us. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, 10 April 2023 World Environment Day 2023 This year marks the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day, celebrated every 5 June, which will focus on tackling plastic pollution using the hashtag and slogan #BeatPlasticols. UNEP announced that Côte d’Ivoire, a member of the High Ambition Coalition calling for a strong and ambitious international legally binding instrument to combat plastic pollution, will be the main host of the 2023 edition with the support of the Netherlands government.
The first session of the Congress to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including the marine environment, was held at the Punta del Este Convention and Exhibition Center from November 28 to December 2. Artists at International Geneva have been busy during the run-up as well as during
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