“Tracing the root causes of the plastic waste crisis empowers us to help solve it,” said former US Vice President Al Gore.
A new Australian study named China as the largest plastic waste generator of 2019, with 1/5 of the world’s single-use plastic coming from the Asian country. According to the Minderoo Foundation, 20 companies produced more than half of all ‘throwaway’ single-use plastic across the globe
In its recently-published Plastic Waste Makers Index, the organization specified that a quarter of those companies were from China.
Study lead author and Minderoo finance transparency director Dominic Charles said:
“China is the world’s most populous country. So it’s no surprise that they generate the world’s largest amount of single-use, plastic waste.”
“In terms of per person, China is quite far down the list, ranked at 45 … China sits at where you expect it for upper middle-income countries,” he added.
Still, state-owned Sinopec, a petroleum and chemical firm, has been identified as the world’s third biggest single-use plastic producer.
The researchers also named Australia and the United States for producing “the greatest amounts of single-use plastic waste per head of pollution, at more than 50 kg per person per year.”
Minderoo chairman and co-founder Dr Andrew Forrest likewise pointed out:
“The plastification of our oceans and the warming of our planet are amongst the greatest threats humanity and nature have ever confronted. Global efforts will not be enough to reverse this crisis unless government, business and financial leaders act in our children’s and grandchildren’s interests”.
“This means: stop making new plastic and start using recycled plastic waste, it means re-allocate capital from virgin producers to those using recycled materials, and importantly, it means redesign plastic so it does no harm and is compostable, so like every other element, it returns to its original molecules, not nano-plastics. And we must act now. Because while we bicker, the oceans are getting trashed with plastic and the environment is getting destroyed by global warming.”
Meanwhile, former US Vice President Al Gore remarked:
“Tracing the root causes of the plastic waste crisis empowers us to help solve it. The trajectories of the climate crisis and the plastic waste crisis are strikingly similar and increasingly intertwined.”
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