Green recovery and how it can solve plastic pollution menace.
With single-use plastics forming 40 per cent of plastics manufactured globally, scientists and researchers continue to sound the alarm over the devastating effects they continue to pose.
For example, it is estimated that some five trillion plastic pieces are floating in oceans which makes up 80 per cent of all litter in these water bodies costing approximately $8 billion in damages to marine ecosystems worldwide.
If the current trend continues, the dumping of these plastics will see oceans holding more litter than fish by 2050, with 98 per cent of seabirds ingesting the plastic. This even as more studies show that there will be 12 billion metric tonnes of plastic litter in the environment by the same year.
Green recovery is described as a more protective, more inclusive economic model that would contribute to building more resilient societies. In this new approach, governments have the responsibility and the opportunity to transform sustainability commitments into action, both in the short and the long term.
Addressing plastic pollution should be a key piece of this rebuilding effort, and governments can help keep everyone on track. They should begin creating an enabling environment for a more sustainable approach to managing plastics, generating positive outcomes for people and planet.
Upstream interventions are key to stopping the endless tides of plastic waste. The circular transition will be a vital part of the economic recovery agenda.
There is also need for road maps and concrete targets for reducing avoidable plastic usage. This can be done by dramatically scaling up plastic waste collection, recycling capacity, and safe waste disposal through investment and public-private partnerships.
“The problem of plastic waste is much more serious than you’d like to believe. Even if we had the best resources, we don’t have infrastructure to increase the recycling from existing 16% to 40%, 300million we produce yearly as a waste,” Surendra Patawari, Chairman, Gemini Corp.
Navigating through a green recovery is possible. However, we must move cautiously.