In January 2018, China stopped accepting most plastic recyclables from Western nations. Within days, there was no hiding just how much plastic nations were producing and consuming.
In January 2018, China stopped accepting most plastic recyclables from Western nations. Within days, there was no hiding just how much plastic nations were producing and consuming. Piles of plastic sprang up in Britain, Canada, the United States and elsewhere. Other Eastern nations began banning the import of plastic waste. Governments worldwide are now scrambling for solutions to mitigate the growing problem of plastic pollution.
Now a new study shows that despite global commitments to address plastic pollution, growth in plastic waste or “plastics emissions” continues to outpace reduction. What’s more, the study shows that even if governments around the world adhere to their ambitious commitments to curb plastic pollution, annual plastic emissions may increase more than sixfold by 2030.
The study, “Predicted growth in plastic waste exceeds efforts to mitigate plastic pollution,” published in the Sept. 18 issue of the journal Science, evaluated the level of effort needed to achieve a targeted global reduction in plastic pollution.
This is the first global analysis of the magnitude of the plastic pollution problem or an analysis of the relative impact of interventions, like banning plastic bags and straws, said Leah Gerber, professor of conservation science in Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences and co-investigator on the study.
Continue reading at Arizona State University.
Image via Arizona State University.