Plastic pollution in the oceans is getting worse, according tomedia reports: if business continues as usual, the amount of plastic waste flowing into the ocean each year will be nearly three times as high as it is today, according to a new analysis. By 2040, the total amount of plastic in the ocean will reach 600 million tons, as the existing plastics in the oceans will not degrade. But there are now ways to eliminate the vast majority of new waste.
Yoni Shiran, project director at Systemiq, a UK-focused sustainable start-up, says plastic pollution is growing for such reasons. With the growth of the global population and the rapid growth of consumption in many developing countries, the number of plastics used is increasing. “We’re also using cheaper plastics, ” he says. ” If you add up all these trends, you’ll see an explosion in the amount of plastic flowing into the ocean. “
Many large companies have recently pledged to use more recyclable materials in their packaging or to use reusable or biodegradable alternatives. But the report found that corporate commitments to improve packaging were only part of a larger set of solutions, and that even if all existing commitments by businesses and governments moveforward, they would only reduce plastic access to the ocean by 7%.
Shiran says commitments do exist, but at the same time they are far from enough – only nearly 20 per cent of brands have signed up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Global Commitment, many of which are only in places like North America and Europe, where the waste emissions are most likely to be done. In addition, while many brands are committed to using more recyclable and recyclable materials, few are truly committed to reducing plastic use.
Researchers hope to see how many solutions are really working by studying different options for tackling the challenges of plastic waste.
And the government needs to do more than ban plastic bags. “Very few countries, if any, really have a firm view of the plastics industry,” Shiran said. “Plastic recycling means infrastructure needs to be expanded and improved.
The report found that there are already technical solutions that could reduce plastic pollution by 80 per cent by 2040, if nothing changes. These changes are economically and politically feasible, but they must begin now.