Between 55-60% of the world’s plastic waste and pollution originates from five emerging markets, according to non-profit group, Ocean Conservancy. Thailand, China, Indonesia, The Philippines and Vietnam are reportedly guilty of producing record amounts of plastic waste. Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources reports some alarming figures. 23 coastal provinces dump around one million tonnes of trash into the sea each year. Plastic bags make up 15% of this waste while plastic straws account for 7%. Thailand’s population of 69 million uses 70 billion plastic bags a year- 1000 per person on average.
Plastic Waste Data
According to scientific journal, ‘Science Advances’ over eight million tonnes of plastic are going into the oceans annually, and the trend is upwards. Furthermore they believe only 10% of all the plastic ever made has actually been recycled.
A consortium of 30 global companies has committed more than US $1 billion (EUR 880 million) to a new initiative. As a result this will fund programmes and technologies to tackle the plastic pollution problem in these countries. Major companies. Like Lyondell Basell, Exxon Mobil, Dow, Procter & Gamble, and Shell Chemical have now formed a united front against plastic pollution called the ‘Alliance to End Plastic Waste’. Together they aim to invest US$1.5 billion in tackling ocean plastic pollution.
One of the main objectives of the project is setting up an incubator network with investment firm Circulate Capital and New York-based consultancy ‘SecondMuse’ to develop and promote plastic recycling technologies, particularly in South-East Asia.
The consortium plans to work with the UN. They will train officials and community leaders to identify, pursue and improve localised waste prevention efforts. Furthermore, there are also plans to map the movement of waste in our oceans. Similarly there are plans to establish integrated waste management systems in large urban areas where infrastructure is lacking.
In Australia, Recycal continues to work with federal and state governments to assist in developing effective recycling strategies that improve the amount of waste that goes into landfill and our oceans.