A new report from the WWF shows the scale of the challenge in managing plastic pollution. More than 75 per cent of all the plastic ever produced is already waste, the report estimates, while currently 37 per cent of plastic waste is handled ineffectively, putting it at risk of leaking into oceans or other ecosystems. At current rates, another 104 million tons of plastic is set to leak out of formal waste management structures by 2030.
The report warns that cost of ‘virgin’ plastics have fallen substantially as production has increased—nearly 400 million tons were produced in 2016. Unless plastic producers are in some way held accountable for the social and environmental costs across the entire life-cycle of their products, virgin plastics will continue to be at an advantage to more costly recycled materials, the report says.
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