Thursday, December 2, 2021

We're drowning in plastic waste


"Plastic waste has increased sharply in the US since 1960, with the country now generating about 42m metric tons of plastic waste a year, amounting to about 130kg of waste for every person in America. This total is more than all European Union member countries combined. The overall amount of municipal waste created in the US is also two to eight times greater than comparable countries around the world, the report found.

Recycling infrastructure has failed to keep pace with the huge growth in American plastic production. Littering, dumping and inefficient waste disposal in landfills has caused up to 2.2m tons of plastic – including everything from plastic bottles and straws to packaging – to 'leak' into the environment each year. The total waste may be even greater than this due to data gaps in tracking it.

Much of this plastic ends up, via rivers and streams, in the world’s oceans."

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NPR this morning stated that 10 million tons of plastic wind up in the ocean every year.  Aquatic animals eat it, get stuck in it, and die. My solution would be to REPLACE plastic with something biodegradable, such as mushroom-based packaging.  Recycling does not work.  Only 9% of what you put in a recycling bin actually gets recycled.

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