Dear Reader,

This week, a report by EA Earth Action revealed a record 220 million tonnes of plastic waste is set to be generated in 2024. Research by the University of Basel and the Alfred-Wegener Institute has shown the microplastic concentrations in Antarctic seawater are higher than previously estimated. Only 21 percent of companies are aware of risks associated with their plastic-related activities, according to data released by environmental disclosure non-profit CDP. A survey across 32 countries commissioned by WWF and the Plastic Free Foundation found eight in 10 people want a global single-use plastics ban. Finally, an industry-backed report bymarket intelligence company International Data Group (IDG) has warned the UK’s war on plastic will be lost if there isn’t “rapid” action to switch to mass use of refill and reuse technology.


As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Editor-in-Chief
Plastic Free Post

Progress tackling plastic waste ‘almost invisible’

A record 220 million tonnes of plastic waste is set to be generated in 2024, according to a new study by research consultancy EA Earth Action, which reveals how efforts to curb plastic waste and boost recycling are struggling to make a dent in the global waste mountain.
 
The report discloses levels of plastic waste have now risen seven percent since 2021 and will exceed the world’s capacity to manage it on 5th September, resulting in 117 days of “overshoot”. The study found just 12 countries are responsible for 60 percent of the world’s mismanaged plastic waste, with China, USA, India, Brazil, and Mexico making up the top five.
 

Read more here.

Microplastic concentrations in Antarctic seawater higher than previously estimated

The results of the study indicate that 98.3 percent of the plastic particles present in the water were smaller than 300 micrometers. Previous studies in the region had mostly collected microplastic particles out of the ocean using fine nets which smaller particles would simply pass through.
 
The current study led by the University of Basel and the Alfred-Wegener Institute also revealed individual samples were polluted to different extents, the reasons for this are not conclusively known. The researchers are also not yet able to say definitively where the microplastics originate. Possible sources include regional ship traffic from the tourism, fishing, and research industries, as well as research stations on land.

Read more here.

Majority of companies overlook plastic-related risks

Findings show that almost half (42 percent) of companies took the vital first step of mapping where plastics were produced and used within their value chains in 2023 according to landmark data released by CDP. The findings also highlight significant gaps in corporate understanding and action with only 21 percent of companies being aware of risks associated with their plastic-related activities.
 
Furthermore, 70 percent have not yet mapped the impacts of their plastic-related activities on the environment and human health; and 64 percent have not yet set targets for managing their plastic-related impacts, such as the use of plastic products and waste management practices.

Read more here.

Eight-in-10 people want global single-use plastics ban

The Ipsos survey of more than 24,000 people in 32 countries commissioned by WWF and the Plastic Free Foundation also found high support (87 percent) for reducing global plastic production.
 
The survey results reveal widespread understanding that bans alone are not enough to end the plastic pollution crisis, with strong support for redesigning the current plastics system to ensure remaining plastics can be safely reused and recycled.

Read more here.

War on single-use plastic needs urgent rethink, warns IGD report

The war on plastic will be lost unless the UK industry takes “rapid” and “high impact” action to switch to mass use of refill and reuse technology, a major new report by IGD has warned.
 
IGD’s report, which is supported by 43 supermarkets, suppliers and food industry bodies, concludes that such scaling for reuse can only be achieved through pre-competitive collaboration across the value chain, involving significant investment in collective infrastructure and with a policy development that encourages the transition.

Read more here.

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