Sep 21

Plastics Weekly: Urgent Need to Fix ‘Failed’ Recycling Systems – UNEP

Editorial Staff
Jul 10, 2023

Welcome to the Plastics Weekly, NEO’s regular news monitoring of the plastics industry.

This week’s highlights:

  • The world urgently needs an overhaul to fix ‘failed’ plastic recycling systems, according to a new U.N. Environment Programme report. Despite all the pledges to use more recycled material, it still only makes up a tiny fraction of the feedstock for plastics manufacture, and just 9% of plastics are ultimately recycled. The two imperatives to address the problem, according to the report, are to cut greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastics manufacturing – put at 3% of global emissions – and end waste. (Reuters)
  • Australia’s annual plastic consumption produces emissions equivalent to 5.7 million cars, a new analysis shows. A report commissioned by the Australian Marine Conservation Society and WWF Australia has found that the plastics consumed nationally in the 2019-20 financial year created 16 million tonnes of greenhouse gases. Australia generated more single-use plastic waste per capita than any country except Singapore. The report recommended three actions that would reduce the emissions from plastic by more than 70% in 2050. (The Guardian)
  • New Zealand has become the world’s first country to extend a ban on thin plastic bags in supermarkets, which are usually used to store fresh produce. The new move is expected to prevent the usage of 150 million plastic bags per year and is part of a wider government campaign against single-use plastics. According to a New Zealand Environment Ministry representative, more than one billion plastic bags had been saved since a ban on thicker bags took effect in 2019. (BBC)
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