One bus every second

If you’re here, it’s probably no secret we’ve got a huge plastic issue on our hands! Plastic is burned at an alarming rate in low-and middle-income countries, according to a May report by Tearfund, Fauna & Flora International, WasteAid and The Institute of Development Studies. In all countries we’re dumping plastic, landfilling it and not-recycling it at unfathomable figures. ⁠

Around the world, a double-decker busload of plastic is burned or dumped every second equivalent to 70 million metric tons of burned or dumped annually. Plastics are made from fossil fuels and companies are currently betting we’re going to keep increasing our use of them by investing heavily into increased production.⁠

Burning plastic also releases chemicals into the air that are highly toxic to humans and can increase the risk for heart disease, cause rashes, nausea and headaches, and damages to the nervous system, kidney and liver.⁠

The answer here can’t be found in the #circulareconomy. There are some plastics we need and currently can’t easily replace that need to be moved through a loop and consistently recycled in a method that doesn’t degrade them (this is the system we currently have where most plastics can only be downcycled 2 to 7 times). The fashion plastics, the single-use and convenience plastics though require different alternatives. Reusable items, better ownership and compostable materials for example. It also needs us to address poverty, inequality and access to necessary resources like clean drinking water. ⁠

We’ve got a long way to go but we’re hoping we start to shift to reducing consumption, using better materials and significantly reducing poverty.