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Plastic Consumption

Plastic Consumption

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  • GS 3 || Environment || Environment & Ecology || Pollution

 Why in News?

The consumption of plastic in the Asia Pacific region is getting higher

 Background:

  • Coming to the plastic consumption in Asia, Asia consumes almost 50% of the global plastic packaging and this is estimated to be 4 times of the 2050.
  • These plastic consumption packaging’s used are the major proportion used by food industries, beverages industries, and healthcare etc. which accounts for around 75% of the plastic packaging.
  • These are the major factor contributing to the increasing plastic consumption is the new consumption pattern like increasing significance of e-commerce online food delivery like the stuffs.
  • They have added insult to the injury of plastic pollution in the world therefore Asia contributes stunningly 82% dumped into the oceans.
  • There is also a reason in Asia there is a very low recycling rates, except Japan and Taiwan.
  • Japan has recycling rates of 83% which is totally exceptional and Taiwan hairs 35% of recycling rate.

Concerns:

  • 37% Packing: Plastic represents almost 37% of the packaging of Asia which is almost around USD150bn
  • It is definitely because of the obvious benefits of plastic; either the durability of plastic or safety or hygiene etc.
  • Single Use: But the major reason is the single use of the short term use of the plastic.
  • Non-Biodegradable: Plastic is highly non-biodegradable and it takes around 500 years to biodegrade and they are causing environmental distress.
  • Low From early 1950, almost 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced but out of these 8.3 billion tons, only 9% plastic wastes have been recycled which definitely means that it is causing a very high distress to the nature.
  • Injury to the Marine World: It has also caused injury to the Marine world and to the economy.
  • Calculations: According to the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation), it estimates that it caused due to pause plastic pollution on tourism fishing shipping industries etc. which is almost around 1.3 billion dollar in South Asia region alone.
  • It gets either dumped to the natural environment or into the water bodies like ocean proper management of plastic wastes can improve the environmental outputs.

Low Plastic Waste Collection Rate:

  • Low Economic Value: No plastic waste collection rate across the world the first reason is that low economic value of the plastic it has no residual value like plastic bags have very low value on the other hand aluminium cans they have higher collection cost and their more economically
  • Poor Separation at Source: poor separation at source separation of plastic with the other elements like aluminum is very essential transparent plastic
  • Pigment Contamination highlights of pigment contamination there is change in colour transparent plastics have the highest value and they are preferred more in the recycling market.
  • Cheaper to dump hire cost of recycling governments are promoting the recycling of plastics and also giving subsidies on it

Way Ahead:

  • In January 2018, China banned the import of plastic waste.
  • China imported almost 56% of global exported plastic waste before the banning.
  • US, the UK, the EU and Japan were the biggest exporter to China in this waste.
  • Asia is about to witness the policy regulation on waste management.
  • Along with all these changes, reduction in plastic has also been galvanized in recent times.