The world is creating more single-use plastic waste than ever, report finds
Author: Hilary Whiteman
The world is producing a record amount of single-use plastic waste, mostly made from polymers created from fossil fuels, despite global efforts to reduce plastic pollution and carbon emissions, according to a new report released on February 13, 2023. The second Plastic Waste Makers Index, compiled by the philanthropic Minderoo Foundation, found the world generated 139 million metric tons of single-use plastic waste in 2021, which was 6 million metric tons more than in 2019, when the first index was released.The report found the additional plastic waste created in those two years equates to nearly one 2.2 pounds more for every person on the planet and was driven by demand for flexible packaging like films and sachets. In recent years, governments around the world have announced policies to reduce the volume of single-use plastic, banning products like single-use straws, disposable cutlery, food s, cotton swabs, bags and balloons. In July, California became the first U.S. state to announce its own targets — including a drop of 25% in the sale of plastic packaging by 2032. In December, the UK extended its list of banned items to include single-use trays, balloon sticks and some types of polystyrene cups and food s. Bans are also in place in the European Union, Australia and India, among other places.