General Article Our problems with plastic

Topic Selected: Waste and Recycling Book Volume: 385

We need a holistic approach to material use.

By Liz Lee Reynolds

Plastic pollution has rapidly become one of the biggest issues of recent years, with many now trying to significantly reduce their plastic waste. 

Millions of tonnes of plastic find their way into the ocean every year, creating a garbage patch in the Pacific twice the size of Texas. The UK alone goes through an estimated 3.7 million tonnes of plastic a year and in 2015 only a third of this was recycled.

Plastic products can take over 400 years to decompose and as they do the plastic particles left behind continue to cause damage. Hundreds of thousands of these microparticles enter the food chain every year, along with any toxic chemicals attached to them. 

Carbon footprint

A new report by the Green Alliance has shown the clear issues in how supermarkets and brands are responding to the customer demand for less plastic. Often alternatives such as glass, metal and paper have a much higher carbon footprint, particularly i...

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