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The United States is still the largest producer of plastic waste in the world

2021-12-02T23:00:27.082Z

Americans generated 42 million tonnes of plastic waste in 2016. That's more than all the countries of the European Union combined,



The numbers are getting worse every year.

With more than 42 million tonnes of plastic waste in 2016, the United States is the number one producer of plastic waste in the world.

That's more than double that of China and more than the European Union countries combined, according to a report from the National Academy of Science, a U.S. scientific institute, released on Wednesday.

However, the United States represents less than 5% of the world population.

"The success of the miraculous invention of plastic in the 20th century has also produced a deluge of plastic waste globally, everywhere we look," wrote Margaret Spring, chair of the panel of experts that wrote the commissioned report. by the US Congress.

She called the problem an “environmental and social crisis”.

130 kg of plastic waste per American each year

In one year, the amount of plastic waste generated by each American has increased from 105 kg to 130 kg per year.

The second position goes to the United Kingdom, with 98 kg per person per year.

In France, the average is 43 kg.

At least 8.8 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the ocean each year around the world - the equivalent of a garbage truck dumped into the sea every minute, according to the report.

If the production of plastic has exploded, especially since the 1980s, the development of recycling has not followed.

At the current rate, the amount of plastic poured into the ocean could reach 53 million tonnes per year by 2030, or half the total weight of fish caught in the ocean annually.

Scientific research has shown that hundreds of species are likely to end up caught in plastic waste or ingest microplastics.

Towards a national strategy

The report recommends developing a national strategy in the United States by the end of 2022. It details several axes to tackle the problem, for example by putting a limit on the production of non-recycled plastic, by capturing better plastic in the environment, or by pushing the development of substitutes.

"This is the most comprehensive and damning report on plastic pollution ever published," responded Judith Enk, president of the association Beyond Plastics.

"We can no longer ignore the role of the United States in the plastic pollution crisis, one of the greatest environmental threats facing our oceans and our planet today", also reacted Christy Leavitt, director of the plastics campaign within the NGO Oceana.

Source: leparis

All life articles on 2021-12-02

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