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US and UK citizens are world’s biggest sources of plastic waste – study US population may also be third-largest producer of marine plastic pollution. It washes directly into the sea via rivers or drainage ways and may also be dumped directly into the ocean. The primary data source on the generation of plastics is the American Chemistry Council. The US and UK produce more plastic waste per person than any other major countries, according to new research. Plastic waste is ubiquitously found in the terrestrial environment. Plastics that act as pollutants are categorized into micro-, meso-, or macro debris, based on size. That means plastic can stick around indefinitely, wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems. Abandoned plastic fishing nets and longlines – known as ghost gear – is also a large source, making up about 10% of plastic waste at sea. This sinking will occur quite rapidly. In 2017, the highest recycling rate of plastic packaging waste was recorded in Lithuania (74%), ahead of Bulgaria (65%), Cyprus (62%, 2016 data), Slovenia (60%), Czechia (59%), Slovakia (52%) and the Netherlands (50%). In the section of the paper entitled “Materials and Methods”, it explains that the research is in part based upon estimates from the World Bank (on the state of solid waste management globally). Even immediate efforts to reduce plastic pollution could leave Earth with 698 million tons (710 million metric tonnes) of waste by 2040, scientists estimate. Plastic waste is a relatively new problem. Waste plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. Marine aquaculture contributes to the problem, too, mainly when the polystyrene foam that’s used to make the floating frames of fish cages makes its way into the sea. The UNEP [6] assumes that 331 species of bird and animal ingest plastic waste from the sea as food. and Lau et al. Plastic has been detected on shorelines of all the continents, with more plastic materials found near popular tourist destinations and densely populated areas. EPA measures the generation, recycling, composting, combustion with energy recovery and landfilling of plastic materials in municipal solid waste. Given that so much of the pollution is coming from just a few sources, managing that waste could have a big impact. Click for More. In the comprehensive survey of “ How recycling is changing in all 50 states ”, industry news source Waste Dive reports that plastics collected for recycling are now also being sent to incinerators in Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin. However, cumulative production of plastic now exceeds 8,000 million metric tons, of which approximately 9 percent has been recycled, 12 percent incinerated, and 79 percent accumulated in landfills or the natural environment. The remaining 25% of the land-based sources is plastic which “escapes” from existing recycling or waste infrastructure and becomes ocean bound. Given that the terrestrial environment is home to the human race, it is essential to understand the occurrence, fate, and effects of MPs in the terrestrial environment. This is plastic waste that is discarded on the ground due to a lack of sanitation or waste collection infrastructure. The higher density polymers from these sources will sink to the ocean sediments. Roughly 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the world's oceans every year and the majority of this waste comes from just six countries: China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam , Srilanka and Thailand. Not only are the waste management issues alleviated in Accra, but the unlocked value of plastic waste is channeled back to these communities in the form of jobs and new income streams. Plastic waste management is critical for reducing diseases that threaten ecosystem health and human livelihoods. Borrelle et al. US and UK citizens are world’s biggest sources of plastic waste. Plastic waste is also found in the stomachs of stranded whales. 80% of Ocean Plastic Comes From Land-Based Sources, New Report Finds ... could stop the waste at the source. Much of the plastic in the ocean is in the form of abandoned fishing nets. Every time you make the choice to avoid or recycle plastic products, you lower the risk of environmental damage. Plastic waste is collected and sold to CASH IT!, regrinded, and sold to be reused in products such as household or building materials. I think I’m starting to see how this paper concluded that the UK and US were the “World’s Biggest Source” of plastic waste 3. A Global Issue We Need To Understand. : plastic bottles and much more) in the Earth’s environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, and humans.’ It also refers to the significant amount of plastic that isn’t recycled and ends up in landfill or, in the developing world, thrown into unregulated dump sites. A mess of plastic. Be conscious of your choices, and encourage those around you to think twice before they throw away plastic or buy unnecessary plastic items. Climate change: Global plastic waste on course to increase six-fold by 2030, scientists warn. Packaging waste can arise from a wide range of sources including supermarkets, retail outlets, manufacturing industries, households, hotels, hospitals, restaurants and transport companies. Previous research has largely looked at the direct sources of pollution, researchers argue, but not where the plastic originated from. Find Out More. Source: “Banning single-use plastic: lessons and experiences from countries” UN Environment report (2018) We need to slow the flow of plastic at its source, but we also need to improve the way we manage our plastic waste. Last Updated: 1st November, 2020 19:01 IST Plastic Pollution: US And UK World’s Top Sources Of Waste, Suggests New Study “US must play a much larger role in addressing this global plastic pollution crisis,” researchers said as it shipped abroad more than half of plastic waste. Plastic waste, or plastic pollution, is ‘the accumulation of plastic objects (e.g. Only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. The analysis also shows the US produces the most plastic waste in total and that its citizens may rank as high as third in the world in contributing to plastic pollution in the oceans. As the plastic is tossed around, much of it breaks into tiny pieces, called microplastics. injury from debris such as broken glass or indirectly by … The source dataset is accessible here. This framing, they say, ignores the global waste export system, in which wealthy countries like the U.S. often ship their waste abroad to lower-income countries that have inadequate recycling methods. plastic bottles, bags and microbeads) in the Earth's environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, and humans. The source dataset is accessible here. Plastic pollution has a big impact on the environment, but plastic waste isn’t unavoidable. (Jambeck et al, 2015). Source: Science , 2015, DOI: 10.1126/science.1260352 Unlike some other kinds of waste, plastic doesn’t decompose. However, little attention has been paid to the sources and environmental fate of terrestrial microplastics (MPs). This statistic displays the sources of plastic waste in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2018 to 2013, by sector. Top sources of plastic ocean waste The rapidly developing Southeast Asian region is the dominant source of marine litter. Plastic pollution in the ocean is caused by some of the land based sources (micro plastics and plastic packaging flow into the ocean), but also by marine waste – such as dumping and loss of ghost gear and fishing equipment into the sea. "Preventing waste and preventing litter can go hand in hand. In 2018, plastics generation was 35.7 million tons in the United States, which was 12.2 percent of MSW generation. At the beginning of 2016, a sperm whale stranded on the shore of the German Wadden Sea had sections of fishing net in its stomach. Because right now, a lot of it ends up in the environment. 1. Human health can also be significantly influenced by marine litter in the form of physical damage, e.g. China banned the import of plastic waste in 2018, and Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Indonesia have followed with their own restrictions. It is not clear what strategies will be most effective in mitigating harm from the global problem of plastic pollution. Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects and particles (e.g. Some plastics float once they enter the ocean, though not all do. Items like glass bottles, plastic containers, aluminium cans, food wrappers, timber pallets and drums are all classified as packaging. What is plastic waste? discuss possible solutions and their impacts. 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