Even if large-scale pollution and de-pollution depend essentially of government measures, everyone must feel concerned and organize to drastically reduce them. Currently, 30% of plastic waste is recycled in Europe, compared to 9% in the United States and 25% in Japan. Since 2017, China has closed its borders to foreign waste. It imported 8.4 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, half of which came from Europe and 1.42 million tonnes from the United States (in 2016). According to figures from the University of Georgia, the end of imports from China would represent a volume of 111 million cubic meters with nowhere to go by 2030.
But there is hope: in Africa, several countries have banned the sale of non-biodegradable single-use plastic bags. In Dominica, ALL plastic products have been banned since January 1, 2019. In Amsterdam, Ekoplaz is the first supermarket where plastic is banned. In Portugal, the airline Hi Fly has decided to do away with plastic onboard its planes.
The surface of our oceans is polluted by floating macro-waste, fragmenting into micro-waste. They represent 88% of surface pollution. These micro-plastics come from bags, bottles, packaging, shower gels and toothpaste containing micro-beads … but above all directly from industrial waste, the cosmetic industry and textiles made with synthetic fibres.
“If you can’t reuse it, refuse it”
Beat Plastic Pollution