Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

UN says world choking on plastic as environmental crisis grows

UN says world choking on plastic as environmental crisis grows

Just nine percent of the nine billion tonnes of plastic the world has ever produced has been recycled.

Plastic is a major threat to the oceans and to marine and wildlife.

Isabelle Des Chenes, an executive vice-president at the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, says the targets are in part created to get ahead of government regulation, since Canada is in the consultation phase of a national strategy to curb plastic pollution.

The company says the task was achieved by engaging with staff to explain the impact of waste and how to make sustainable choices.

The environmental damage can be reduced by extending the use of plastic products for as long as possible, while recovering, reusing and recycling plastics at a much higher rate.

On 4 June, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada announced that they would make all of their plastic packaging recyclable or "recoverable" by 2030.

Reusable plastics are those that can be cleaned and reused for their original objective.

The UN said more than 60 countries had introduced bans and levies on single-use plastic items like bags.

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"Since the 1950s, plastic production has surpassed nearly all other materials", the United Nations document reads. "Mindful consumption of plastic is a global duty; consumers have their part to play to help realize zero-litter (the dream), as do corporate players in their use and handling and governments in providing the necessary infrastructure".

Nearly two years have gone by since new plastic waste management rules came into existence making it compulsory for brand owners and plastic producers and manufactures to establish a system for collecting back the plastic waste, but only 35 units have so far obtained registration under the new rules.

These announcements precede today's World Environment Day and the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Que., which will take place on Friday and Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Rivers Government has in a statement to commemorate the 2018 World Environment Day, promised to pay more attention to the environment.

The figures are dizzying as it is estimated that about 5,000 billion plastic bags are used worldwide every year, meaning that nearly 10 million plastic bags are used every minute. LDPE is a kind of thin single-use plastic that one must have often seen being used as a packaging material.

He also said that the ministry was working in partnership with the state governments to develop a national plastic waste recycling programme involving the establishment of recycling plants across Nigeria.

There are some barriers to the goal, because many plastics now can not easily be recycled and municipal recycling programs often refuse many types of plastic because they are too hard to recycle or recover.

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