Global and national production and consumption of plastics.
A straw with our iced coffee, a plastic bag to carry our food, the candy wrapper: taken individually, each seems harmless. These modern conveniences are so ubiquitous, and so quickly discarded, that they barely register in our minds. But single-use plastics take a heavy toll on the environment, one that we will pay for millennia to come. Our addiction to plastic has a devastating impact on our oceans, our wildlife and our health.
Recent reports claim that plastic bag bans have unintended environmental consequences, leading to increased use of paper and carryout bags, and could result in more pollution. What’s the real story?
World plastic consumption
The European plastics producers’ association PlasticsEurope said that global plastics production fell by 0.3 percent in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This has only been recorded three times since World War II.
And if plastic in the sea is of concern to environmentalists and activists, so too must be the scrap metal business. Since China gave up importing foreign-generated waste in 2018, Romania and Bulgaria became, along with Turkey, the dumping grounds for waste generated in rich European Union (EU) countries. “Waste dealers have found in Eastern Europe a market for Western European garbage,” assured commissioner Cristian Coje, from the Romanian Environmental Guard, quoted by EFE.From washing machines, televisions, to cell phones and car parts in plastic that come from companies are burned in the open air and this ends up polluting the skies of Eastern Europe. The business is profitable for these nations, since the traffickers who transport the garbage offer to get rid of it for less money than they would pay for depositing it in recycling plants in their countries.With EFE, Reuters and local media
Why it is important to reduce the use of plastic
CONSERVATION ACTION The problem of plastic pollution is very serious and further study is urgently needed. It also requires immediate action such as:- Reduction of the use of plastic as packaging, which is normally discarded immediately. Re-use of plastics should be promoted. – Plastic packages and bags should display a warning about the dangers of plastic pollution and the consumer should be encouraged to use their own bags and recycled paper bags.
National production and consumption of plastics
Of all the plastic used in the manufacture of packaging in Colombia, 62% is used in the food sector. Likewise, 22% is used to package beverages and 9% is used in cleaning and cosmetic products.
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