New report suggests worrying implications unless more plastic packaging waste is recycled
A report produced by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, claims that there will be more plastic by weight in the world’s oceans than fish by the year 2050.
The report, titled “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics”, estimates that between £56 billion and £85 billion of plastic packaging finds its way into the water stream every year. The report claims that a staggering 95 per cent of the plastic packaging which is produced every year, is used only once in its lifetime and is never recycled.
If one considers a further claim in the report; that the world’s plastic production will double within the next 20 years, the environmental and economical implications are disturbing.
The report was produced in collaboration with McKinsey & Company, and 40 other contributors; its aim is to highlight the need for a global rethink in relation to how we handle plastics after their first use.
Dominic Waughray, Head or Public-Private Partnership at the World Economic Forum, said: “This report demonstrates the importance of triggering a revolution in the plastics industrial ecosystem and is a first step to showing how to transform the way plastics move through our economy.”
One of the main themes of the report is the introduction of a “circular economy” in the plastics industry; this means a serious effort to discover new ways of recycling plastic waste, other than in the production of crude oil or natural gas.
Which is exactly what a UK recycling technology company, based in Swindon, is already doing. The company, which also contributed to The New Plastics Economy report, have discovered and perfected a process for producing hydrocarbon product from unrecyclable plastics.
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