Ocean Plastic

Plastics, Pollution & Solutions: Recycling programs and solutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to link to the OceanInfo.org research paper


The Executive Summary

Plastic pollution is a problem that affects the entire world, polluting both land and water. According to Earthday.org: “Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans … The amount of plastic in the ocean is set to increase tenfold by 2020.”[1]

Huge plastic islands are floating in the ocean and coming ashore on small island nations. Some of the plastic can be recycled (PET or PETE – polyethylene terephthalate), some plastic cannot be mass recycled (food packaging), and some plastic contains chemicals that should not be used again (BPA – bisphenol-A).

Some start-ups and organizations are coming up with solutions to plastic pollution that benefit poverty-stricken communities overwhelmed by plastic debris.

Since pollution from plastic waste affects the entire world and continues to grow, and China, which had been recycling around half of the world’s waste, is now refusing to accept some recyclables from other countries, solutions are needed to recycle the world’s plastic pollution washing up on all of the world’s shores.

Some countries are working toward a solution. “The governments of 187 countries have agreed to control the movement of plastic waste between national borders, in an effort to curb the world’s plastic crisis — but the United States was not among them,” according to a recent CNN article.[2]

Individuals are concerned as well. “Nearly 1 million people signed a global petition this week [5/11/2019] urging the governments of the Basel Convention to take action, by preventing western countries from ‘dumping millions of tonnes of plastic waste on developing countries instead of recycling it.’”[3]


Footnotes
[1]“EARTH DAY 2018 | END PLASTIC POLLUTION – Fact Sheet: Plastics in the Ocean,” Earthday.org, accessed on Feb. 10, 2019
[2]“Over 180 countries — not including the US — agree to restrict global plastic waste trade,” CNN.com, May 11, 2019
[3]Ibid.