Research submitted to the US government shows that the US generated about 42 million tons of plastic waste in 2016. Scientists say this is more than twice what China represents and more than all the European Union countries combined.
deluge of waste
Principal researcher Margaret Spring argues that plastic, once a “miracle invention,” now “seems everywhere we look” leading to a deluge of waste. In addition to the environmental crisis, she says, this also creates a social crisis, because many inland and coastal communities are affected by polluted rivers, lakes and beaches.
The researchers report that a garbage truck full of plastic is emptied into the ocean every minute, so to speak. If the world continues at this rate, 53 million tons of plastic will be dumped into the ocean every year by 2030. That’s half the weight of all the fish caught from the ocean each year.
The researchers called on the US government to do something about the amount of plastic waste. This can be done, for example, by reducing the production of plastic or by using more recyclable materials.
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