Global funding to revolutionise waste management in the world’s worst polluting countries could lead to a 77% reduction in ocean plastic pollution by 2025 according to a new report.
The study, published by plastic recycling consultancy, Nextek, noted that currently there are no effective tools available to collect and clean up the accumulation of plastics and micro-plastics once they have reached the oceans.
Prevention at source is therefore the key action required to deal with plastics pollution and its associated impacts and immediate action to step up waste management worldwide, the report found.
It comes a year after David Attenborough’s BBC series, Blue Planet II horrified the nation with powerful images of wildlife harmed and slayed by plastic pollution.
Launching the report at this week’s Ocean Plastics Crisis Summit, Brunel University London Professor, Edward Kosior said: “This dire situation calls for strong immediate action to slow the rate at which waste is produced.”
“We have no right to harm the lives of other creatures by allowing plastics to get into the ocean, he We have to end this dig-use-discard mentality. Every package that’s made should be recyclable,” he continued. “There’s no excuse. It is a must for all.”
The report urged caps on plastic waste and the stamping out waste mismanagement by the top 10 polluting countries, could cut ocean plastics by 77%. That would reduce yearly volume of plastic going into the oceans to 2.4 to 6.4 million tons by 2025.
Speaking at London’s Royal Geographical Society, Professor Kosior who also runs the recycling company, Nextek, dubbed the UK’s export of plastics recycling to China ‘scandalous’ because it stops developing recycling here.
“Developed countries need to invest in developing countries with global support from the UN,” he said, to help poorer countries better manage their waste.
Calling for ‘a paradigm shift in waste management,’ Prof Kosior added: “The global magnitude of the problem means it needs to be on the agendas of international leaders such as the G20 summits, UN Assembly and World Economic Forum.”
Co-written by Irene Crescenzi, Stopping Ocean Plastics an Agenda For Action highlights how:
- Plastics use is growing in line with wealth
- The biggest plastic leaking countries are China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Sri Lanka
- The many international laws already there to stop plastic pollution are not upheld
- Richer countries need to pay to help poorer countries deal with plastic contamination
- We need to cut out single use plastics and incentivising collection and recycling.
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