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Since the first ever plastic was produced in the 1950s, the earth has been littered with more than 8 billion tons of plastic. This huge quantity of plastic has ended up in our landfills and in our oceans. A very small percentage of it is actually recycled and repurposed. Research has uncovered that just a measly 9% of the 8 billion tons of plastic waste ends up reaching recycling centers.
If not recycled and not in landfill, the ocean has now become a hub for plastic waste as well. Scientists have estimated that about 7-12 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans every single year. This not only harms the marine life, but also leaches toxins into the water. If this number scares you, then you must know that it is only going to get worse from here.
America is quite easily the king of consumption, be it their fast food culture or their highly convenience driven lifestyle. This leads to the average dumping of about 12 ounces of plastic by each person every single day. These numbers are about 10 years old, and you can only imagine what the situation today must be like.
While we have come a very long way when it comes to disposal and management of plastics, it is somehow still not enough to tackle the actual issue at the grassroot level. To make sure there is an impact in the global plastic issue, the production of plastic needs some serious reforms. Only then will some reasonable change come about.
In this article, we will review 5 of the largest plastic waste generating countries and how the mismanagement of plastic waste can affect us in the long run.
China is one of the biggest exporters of plastic products. It was earlier referred to as the garbage hub because it imported loads of garbage from other countries. But since the plastic waste issue started becoming a huge problem, some reforms came into the picture. They banned 24 types of scraps from entering the China border. This surely helped the situation, but there is still a very long way to go. While the issue of importing waste can be tackled to some extent, the issue of waste production is still huge in China. China alone contributes to 5-8 million tons of plastic that enters the oceans.
Indonesia is a close second when it comes to plastic waste. While they have a lot of plastic consumption, the management of the plastic is just not up to the mark to balance out the effect of all the plastic that is generated. A diver stated and showed the sad state of the ocean floor in Indonesia on this Instagram. He showed how the plastic had just become a part of the marine ecosystem, which was disheartening to see. The reefs in Indonesia are covered with 25.6 plastic pieces per 100 square meters on an average.
Because of the ban that China has put in place on plastic waste exports, the United Kingdom is finding itself in a great fix. Now, they have to deal with all their plastic waste by themselves, and they are already struggling. This issue is going to rise drastically by the year 2030, so they really need to tackle this problem at hand.
Philippines is one of the leading plastic producers in the world. But they have not figured out an effective way to deal with all their waste. You will be shocked to know that about 7000 tons of plastic waste is produced every single day.
When you visit Thailand, one of the first few things that stand out is the blatant and crazy plastic consumption. While they consume a lot of plastic, they are really not able to do much to manage it responsibly. This plastic mismanagement is leading to terrible deaths of marine animals, which can impact our biodiversity as a whole.
Vietnam and Russia are close behind these 5 countries
Not to look too far into the future, but by 2025, we might be in some serious trouble if we don’t start managing our plastic waste. It is predicted that copious amounts of plastic will be entering the oceans in huge volumes. This is a result of plastic being littered and just thrown about irresponsibly. To tackle the issue of water pollution, management of plastic is essential.
Plastic management has been a struggle for a long time now. But now is the time to make some serious changes so that we can save our oceans from choking on all the plastic. We have to do our bit on an individual level as well and focus on reusing and recycling plastic.
About Plastic Collectors: Plastic Collectors is a collective of passionate and driven people all over the globe who work on collecting plastic from beaches and other parts of their surroundings and ensure that this plastic gets recycled. Educating their peers is also one of their main missions,and they believe in educating through positive action. People are also given rewards and remuneration for the plastic waste collected and recycled. Click here to know more about how you can join the cause.