Report

The state of plastics: World Environment Day Outlook 2018

The benefits of plastic are undeniable. The material is cheap, lightweight and easy to make. These qualities have led to a boom in the production of plastic over the past century. This trend will continue as global plastic production skyrockets over the next 10 to 15 years. We are already unable to cope with the amount of plastic waste we generate. Only a tiny fraction is recycled. About 13 million tonnes of plastic leak into our oceans every year, harming biodiversity, economies and, potentially, our own health. The world urgently needs to rethink the way we manufacture, use and manage plastic. This paper sets out the latest thinking on how we can achieve this. It looks at what governments, businesses and individuals can do to check the runaway production and consumption of plastic.

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