London fights its plastic problem: new fountains and bottle-refill stations around The City

24th January 2018 | Recycling

From plastic bags to plastic containers, plastic is an integrated part of our lives. Since its development in 1907, we have used it in thousands of ways because it is such a versatile material. Unfortunately, this mass consumption of plastic items has resulted in a massive amount of plastic waste across the globe because it is also a very indestructible material.

Based on a 2010 dataset, researchers estimate that about 275 million metric tons of plastic were created that year as we continue to use these products. That same data predicted that 2015 would see about 9 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean, which is an increase from the estimated annual amount of 8 million metric tons.

Plastic Problem

Numerous research has shown that these disturbances to the ocean cause tremendous damage to ecosystems. Plastic pollution has been linked to the deaths of birds, turtles, and many animals within different ocean ecosystems. To that end, it is becoming increasingly clear that measure must be implemented to prevent this continued production of plastic waste.

Most of us recycle our plastic items in hopes that they will be broken down and reused in some fashion, but the truth is that about 91% of plastics are not recycled. So, besides education and increasing recycling plans, many countries have begun to implement other solutions.

In the United States, many states and towns are approaching the idea of a plastic bag ban as places like California has banned the use of plastic bags in 2014 (which was upheld by voters in 2016), becoming one of the first states to do so. Recently, China has banned the import of plastic waste as previously it would bring in tonnes of plastic waste from places like the European Union.

Following China’s import ban, the EU has also introduced plans to curb plastic waste. They introduced measures to make all plastic packaging materials be either reusable or recyclable by 2030.

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