As a company that cares about environmental sustainability, we join the appeal of World Environment Day, celebrated every year on 5 June and part of the United Nations Environment Programme (UN EP). The focus of this edition will be on the importance of accelerating actions to combat plastic pollution, the effects of which can no longer be ignored. Only through joint global efforts can we reverse the current trend and restore the fragile balance of ecosystems.
The current plastics lifecycle is far from circular
Between 2000 and 2019, production doubled to 460 million tonnes (Mt).
Importantly, the growth of the plastics sector has outpaced that of the global economy by almost 40%.
Unfortunately, in the absence of new policies and corrective measures, by 2060, the use of plastics will triple from 2019 levels to an estimated 1231 Mt.
A direct consequence of the increased use of plastics is the growing amount of waste, which has more than doubled from 156 Mt to 353 Mt from 2019 to 2020, and global plastic waste generation is expected to reach 1014 Mt by 2060.
Almost two-thirds of all plastic waste is generated by products with a useful life of less than five years.
In 2019, only 15% of plastic waste was actually collected for recycling, and 40% of this material ended up as recycling residues requiring further disposal. Only 9% of plastic waste was actually recycled, 19% was incinerated and about 50% was disposed of in controlled landfills. The remaining 22% was disposed of in uncontrolled landfills, burnt in open pits or leaked into the environment.
The rate of waste recycling is expected to grow by 17% by 2060, but it will still represent a smaller share of waste management than incineration (18%) and landfilling (50%).
Another aspect to consider is that plastics are currently produced almost entirely from fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, use and disposal of single-use plastics are expected to increase to 19% of the global carbon budget by 2040.
The serious problem of ocean pollution
The data we have reported highlights the need to seriously address the challenges associated with the management of plastic waste, which seriously threaten the environment and ecosystems, especially marine ones.
It is alarming to think that by 2050, according to projections, the weight of plastics in the seas will exceed that of fish.
“The scourge of plastic pollution is a visible threat affecting every community around the world. We urge everyone from governments, businesses, civil society to engage and collaborate to find and promote solutions” said Jean- Luc Assi, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development of the Ivory Coast, guest of the World Environment Day.
World Environment Day and the #BeatPlasticPollution campaign
World Environment Day is an international event established for the first time by the UN General Assembly during the Stockholm Conference which took place from 5 to 6 June 1972.
Over the past fifty years, the day has become one of the largest global platforms for environmental awareness and engages tens of millions of people in initiatives and actions.
In this edition of the event, the #BeatPlasticPollution campaign invites all of us to undertake solutions to curb unnecessary plastic consumption and fight plastic pollution.
To rethink the future of the planet we can first of all change our habits by reducing packaging, reducing the use of plastic water bottles, preferring purchases on tap, avoiding throwing objects away when they can be repaired, saying goodbye to disposable containers, learning how to recycle and dispose of waste correctly, giving new life to plastic packaging instead of throwing it away, choosing to buy food in bulk, taking part in plogging initiatives, etc…
More information is available on the official World Environment Day website, and if you have any needs regarding efficiency in the fields of thermal energy, metering and water management, do not hesitate to contact our specialists.