Plastic Waste And Its Effect On Environment – Science study shows that almost 80% of the annual plastic flow into the environment can be stopped with the help of existing technology
A man stands amid plastic waste at Juhu beach in Mumbai, India on June 30, 2019. The trash washed ashore during a storm.
- 1 Plastic Waste And Its Effect On Environment
- 2 Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste In Your Home
Plastic Waste And Its Effect On Environment
More than 29 million metric tons of plastic enter the environment each year, harming animals and damaging habitats. A study co-authored by researchers at The Pew Charitable Trusts and published in
Science Study Shows That Nearly 80% Of The Annual Plastic Flow Into The Environment Can Be Stopped Using Existing Technology
However, on July 23 found that this flow could be reduced by almost 80% in the next 20 years using existing waste management and recycling technology.
To achieve this reduction, significant changes are needed in how countries manage plastic waste – both upstream (production and design) and downstream (use and disposal). The changes include reducing plastic use, replacing plastic where possible, improving recycling strategies, expanding waste collection and building better disposal facilities.
However, even with immediate and concerted action, the study found that 710 million metric tons of plastic waste would enter aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems between 2016 and 2040.
“Although the technology exists to address much of the plastic waste challenge, the infrastructure and business processes are not yet in place,” said Winnie Lau, a senior officer at Pew’s Ocean Plastic Prevention Project and lead author of the study. “Significant investment in collection infrastructure, plastic substitutes and recycling facilities must take place before we can see real change.”
As Plastic Pollution In Rivers Gets Worse, Species Are Increasingly Living On Litter
Research is increasingly showing the negative effects of plastic pollution on wildlife. More than 800 species are known to have been harmed by this pollution, either through ingestion or entanglement. People are also affected. Drink bottles and other plastic waste litter beaches, block drains and other waste water systems, and provide a breeding ground for disease vectors. The combined economic cost of plastic pollution on fishing, tourism and shipping is estimated to be at least $13 billion per year.
The rapid increase in plastic pollution over the past few decades is partly due to an increase in single-use plastic consumption and a growing throw-away culture. In addition, most waste management systems worldwide do not have the capacity to safely dispose of or recycle the amount of waste plastic generated.
Because plastic is so ubiquitous, no single global strategy exists to address this pollution. The diversity of plastic types also makes it difficult to address the problem effectively: Although rigid plastic dominates recycling, flexible and multi-material plastic waste must be tackled with other strategies.
To explore the potential for 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 plastic waste input into the environment and was used to evaluate the effects of five scenarios: business as usual; improving collection and disposal; increasing recycling; reducing plastic use and substituting alternatives; and system change, which integrates all these interventions.
Ways To Reduce Plastic Waste In Your Home
It shows that system change would reduce annual rates of aquatic and terrestrial plastic pollution by nearly 80% compared to the current trajectory by 2040. Such an overhaul would also reduce the production and consumption of newly produced plastic by 55%. If manufacturers shift to alternative materials, such as paper and compostable materials, and ensure that products and packaging are designed for recycling, the amount of recyclable plastic will not only increase, but increase in value.
To achieve the nearly 80% reduction, global recycling capacity will need to double, and middle- and low-income countries will need to expand waste collection rates. Strategies focused exclusively on downstream solutions (collect and dispose, or recycling) make significant reductions in annual plastic pollution rates (56.1% and 31.7% by 2040 respectively), but do not come close to solving the problem. Meanwhile, strategies focused exclusively on upstream solutions (reduce and replace) also lead to significant but not full reductions in annual pollution rates (55.6% by 2040).
Implementing a system change is not prohibitive. In fact, due to reduced plastic production, increased recyclability and other changes, the researchers estimate that global net waste management costs would be about 18% lower.
Unfortunately, a significant accumulation of plastic waste will continue even under the system change scenario. Innovations, such as new business models and advanced waste management technologies, and commitments from the international community will be needed to eliminate the flow of almost all plastic pollution into the environment.
Curbing The Waste Crisis
Plastic has become ubiquitous on store shelves and in our homes. From wrapped food and disposable bottles to microbeads in body washes, they are widely used as packaging or in products because they are versatile, cheap and convenient. But this convenience comes with a price.
Press Releases and Statements 23 July 2020 Research finds that plastic flows into the ocean are expected to triple by 2040
The mismanagement of plastic waste has led to pollution of the entire marine environment, from shores to the deepest ocean sediments (e.g. Ryan et al. 2016; Woodall et al. 2014). Almost all marine species can be entangled in or ingest plastic, depending on their size, and ingestion can potentially expose them to hazardous additives contained in the plastic or to attached pathogens (Prinz and Korez 2020). Plastic waste can also be a host for a range of species, leading to rafting or species being transported long distances by floating plastic. This potentially increases species’ geographic range and spreads invasive species and diseases (Zettler et al. 2013; Keswani et al. 2016; Lamb et al. 2018; Rodrigues et al. 2019).
The Problem Of Marine Plastic Pollution
Microplastic pollution in the surface waters of Vava’u, Tonga Marine plastic pollution has been recognized as a global issue in recent years, but research efforts in the Pacific are lagging. 14 Nov 2022 Staff publications
A large-scale study of microplastic abundance in sediment cores from the British continental shelf and slope A large-scale study of microplastic abundance in sediment cores from the British continental shelf and slope 06 Apr 2022 Staff Publications
Drowning in Plastic: Marine Litter and Plastic Waste Vital Graphics The aim of this Vital Graphics publication is to provide an overview of the current global marine litter and plastic pollution challenge. Oct 21, 2021 Vital Graphics Series
PRReSUP An Assessment of Policy and Investment Options for Reducing Plastics in the Marine Environment in Pacific Island Countries (PICs) Finished Waste and Marine Litter
Title: Plastic Pollution And Other Trash Pollution: A Growing Threat To Our Environment
The pre-publication event of the African Marine Litter Outlook An online event to celebrate the pre-publication of the African Marine Litter Outlook. Ongoing Waste and marine debris
Litter and marine litter Litter and litter is an important issue that affects ecosystems, economies and societies. Getting Started ProgramPlastic is everywhere and has become such a part of our daily lives that it’s hard to imagine how to do without it. But the sheer volume of the material, along with its durability, is becoming an ever-increasing problem. Getting rid of it is easier said than done. So how can we avoid this?
Our learning package “Plastic waste and its environmental impact” provides teachers and students between the ages of 12 and 16 with the necessary information to deal with the issue in depth. All materials are available for download and can be used by educational institutions for non-commercial purposes free of charge.
Please start by downloading the “booklet for teachers” when preparing your lessons. There you will find copies of all the worksheets, including explanatory handouts and solutions. You will find the booklet available as a PDF file below under “Explore More.”
Preventing Plastic Pollution
When conducting lessons online, please also download the interactive “workbook for participants” along with the “booklet for teachers.” You’ll find both under “Explore more.” You can then send the workbook PDF file to participants as an email attachment. The workbook includes the worksheets, but not the solutions. Participants can then complete their work alone on their computers, save the work and mail it back to you. Participants will need Acrobat Reader to complete the booklet. It is available for free to download.
If you have questions about our Global Ideas learning packages or if you require a printed version of the materials, including the DVD, please contact us at: globalideas@There is no denying that plastic is an ingenious material. Plastic, composed of long chains of synthetic polymers, is strong, light and highly flexible. It can be manipulated into a multitude of shapes, from straws and bottles to car parts and diapers.
Since the 1907 invention of Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic, the world has loved plastics. According to Our World in Data, the annual production of plastic has increased almost 200-fold over the past 65 years to 381 million tons.
Unfortunately, it now appears, the increasing use of this versatile substance has come at a high cost to the planet. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Woods Hole Sea Grant show that some plastics
Confronting The Plastic Pollution Pandemic
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