Oecd: Global plastic production to nearly triple in 40 years

  • 2022-08-07

According to a report released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Wednesday, by 2060, the annual global production of plastic products will reach 1.2 billion tons, nearly three times the current amount. If recycling is not improved, the amount of plastic waste will nearly triple by then.

 

According to OECD data, the world used about 460 million tons of plastic products in 2019, double what it used 20 years ago. The amount of plastic waste has also almost doubled, to more than 350 million tons, of which less than 10 percent is recycled.

 

Delegates TO THE RESUMED FIFTH SESSION OF THE United Nations ENVIRONMENT ASSEMBLY LOOK AT AN ARTWORK SHOWING A PLASTIC BOTTLE FLOWING FROM A FAUCET IN Nairobi, Kenya, March 2, 2008. Xinhua News Agency reporter Long Lei

 

According to the report, humans have produced about 8.3 billion tons of plastic products since the 1950s, 60 percent of which has been either landfills, burned or dumped directly into rivers, lakes and seas.

 

The sheer volume, range and impact of plastic waste are alarming. Plastic particles have been found in deep-sea fish and on the bottom of the Arctic ocean, research shows. Plastic waste is estimated to kill more than one million seabirds and more than 100,000 Marine mammals every year.

 

"Plastic pollution is one of the most serious environmental challenges of the 21st century, causing widespread damage to environmental systems and human health," said OECD Secretary-General Mathias Coleman.

 

The report predicts that on current trends, the use of plastic products in North America, Europe and East Asia will double by 2060; In other emerging and developing countries, the number will increase to three to five times; In sub-Saharan Africa it will increase more than six-fold.

 

According to the report, the global production of plastic products will inevitably increase due to economic development and population growth, but effective recycling policies can significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste.

 

"Concerted and aggressive global efforts could almost eliminate plastic pollution by 2060," the report said.

 

Plastic recycling also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report. Currently, plastics-related greenhouse gas emissions are around 2 billion tons a year, accounting for about 3 percent of human greenhouse gas emissions. The OECD warns that this number will double by 2060 if no targets are set.

 

On March 2, THE fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEP) adopted the Resolution on Ending Plastic Pollution (DRAFT) in Nairobi, Kenya. The legally binding resolution aims to promote a global fight against plastic pollution.

 

 

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