Report shows that the world is generating more single-use plastic waste than ever before

Brisbane riverside city, is the capital of Queensland, eastern Australia

The world is generating a record amount of single-use plastic waste, mostly made from polymers created from fossil fuels, despite global efforts, according to a new report released on Monday. demand to reduce plastic pollution and carbon emissions.

The second plastic waste producer indexcompiled by the Minderoo Charitable Foundation, shows that the world generated 139 million tons of single-use plastic waste in 2021, 6 million tons more than in 2019. when the first index is released.

The report found that the extra plastic waste generated in those two years equates to an increase of nearly 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) per person on the planet, and is driven by demand for flexible packaging like film. and bags.

In recent years, governments around the world have announced policies to reduce the volume of single-use plastics, banning products such as single-use straws, disposable cutlery, food containers, etc. cotton swabs, bags and balloons.

In July, California becomes the first US state announced its own goals — including reducing plastic packaging sales by 25% by 2032. In December, UK expands list of banned items including single-use trays, balloon sticks, and some polystyrene cups and food containers. Prohibitions also apply in european union, Australia And Indiaamong other places.

Many countries have banned single-use plastic plates and cutlery.

But the report shows that the scale of recycling isn’t growing fast enough to handle the amount of plastic produced, meaning used products are more likely to end up in landfills, on beaches, rivers and ocean rather than being put into recycling. plant.

The index names just two companies in the petrochemical industry that are recycling and producing recycled polymers at scale: Taiwan’s Far Eastern New Century Corporation and Thailand’s Indorama Ventures, a major producer of recycled PET. world for drinking water bottles.

Indorama Ventures also ranked 4th on a list of the world’s 20 largest producers of virgin polymers used in single-use plastics. Leading the list is the US oil company Exxon

Mobil, Sinopec of China

and another US heavyweight, Dow, in that order, according to the report.

And in making polymers bonded to single-use plastics, those 20 companies generated around 450 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to the UK’s total emissions, according to the Carbon Trust and Wood Mackenzie, who analyzed the data. Last June, the UK Office for National Statistics said UK greenhouse gas emissions fall 13% to more than 478 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt Co2e) in the next year 2020.

“There is no doubt that the problem of plastic pollution is getting bigger and bigger and driven by manufacturers,” said Andrew Forrest, founder and chief executive officer of Minderoo iron ore. polymers, driven of course by the oil and gas industry.” Giant Fortescue Metal.

Buildings reflect on the water of a river full of trash in Manila on January 23, 2016.

He is proposing a “polymer premium” per kilogram of polymer plastic made from fossil fuels to give people, companies and governments the financial incentive to recycle more.

“In advanced countries, that polymer payment will lead to the mechanization of automatic collection. In the developing world, it will lead to people out of work, having jobs to make sure there’s no plastic in the oceans, there’s no plastic on the streets, there’s no toxic plastic waste. wildlife,” he said.

Last year, the United Nations Environment Assembly, the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, agreed to establish The world’s first global plastic pollution treaty.

An intergovernmental committee is working with a 2024 deadline to draft a legally binding agreement that addresses the entire lifecycle of plastics, from production and design to disposal.


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