MOSCOW (MRC) -- An estimated 11 million metric tons (MMt) of plastic waste enter the ocean every year and this will almost triple by 2040, to 29 MMt, if immediate and sustained action is not taken, according to a newly published in-depth report, said Chemweek.
This is equivalent to dumping 110 lbs (50 kilograms) of plastic on every meter of coastline around the world, it says. However, it is possible to reduce annual flows of plastic into the ocean by about 80% in the next 20 years by applying existing solutions and technologies, according to the report, Breaking the Plastic Wave. The report notes there is no single solution that can achieve this goal, but that it is rather through breaking “the plastic wave” by taking immediate, ambitious, and concerted actions. The research was carried out and published by The Pew Charitable Trusts (London, UK), and SYSTEMIQ (London, UK), a certified B Corp, in collaboration with the University of Oxford, University of Leeds, Ellen MacArthur Foundation (Cowes, UK), and Common Seas (Bristol, UK).
The current commitments made by governments and industry can only cut the annual volume of plastic flowing into the ocean by about 7% by 2040, and most new regulations “focus on specific items rather than systemic change,” the report says. Reducing plastic use is key to preventing it entering the ocean, but this requires “finding substitutes for plastics, improving recycling practices, expanding waste collection, and ensuring that disposal facilities prevent plastic leakage as a transitional measure,” it says.
The implementation of all these measures, as well as substantial shifts in all economic sectors, significant new investments, and major policy changes from governments would be required, but they could achieve the 80% reduction in the annual flow of plastic waste into the ocean by 2040, the report says.
The required technologies exist, but government incentives and a new approach from industry and investors are needed to enable a “substantial shift of investment away from the production of new plastic to the development of reuse and refill systems and sustainable substitute materials,” according to the study. This also means that every nation will have to do its part in accordance with its capabilities, the report says.
“Adopting systemwide changes to curb ocean plastic pollution offers social, economic, and environmental benefits, from reducing projected greenhouse gas emissions to creating 700,000 jobs around the globe,” the report says.
A five-year delay in taking the actions outlined in the report “would add 80 million metric tons of plastic waste to the 248 million metric tons projected to enter the ocean from 2016 to 2040, compounding risks for marine species and ecosystems, our climate, and our communities,” according to the report.
According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.