11/06/2021

What is the future of the plastic waste?


Every minute,  approximately 1 million plastic water bottles are sold per minute. That is 480 billion plastic water bottles sold across the globe for 2018.

How much of the this plastic is going to be recycled?

A Breakdown of Disposal Methods

If current trends in plastic production and waste management continue as they are, here’s where 33 billion metric tons of plastic waste will end up by 2050.

Disposal Method Metric tons % of total plastic waste
Recycled 8.53 billion 25.7%
Incinerated 12.39 billion 37.3%
Discarded 12.28 billion 37.0%
Total 33.2 billion

Of the 33.2 billion tons of plastic waste, more than 12 billion metric tons is expected to end up in landfills, or in our natural environment. A large portion of this discarded plastic will find its way into our oceans. In fact, if things remain as they are, plastics are expected to outweigh our ocean’s fish population by 2050.

On the other hand, only about 9 billion metric tons are projected to be recycled—roughly 25.7%.

Information Source and Visual: Visual Capitalist

Recycling Has its Limits

Most plastics can only be recycled once or twice before they’re discarded, since polymers in plastic break down during the recycling process.

That’s why many experts stress the importance of reducing and reusing over recycling.

LIFE PlasPLUS novel technology

The EU-funded LIFE PlasPLUS project can provide a novel solution that can transform the current downcycled or landfilled/incinerated waste.

The project aims at improving the recycling of high-quality secondary thermoplastics and critical raw materials found in electronic and end-of-life vehicle waste.

Furthermore, LIFE PlasPLUS seeks to provide a complete solution for the economic recovery of thermoplastics and by-products through transformation in added-value raw materials and products for the automotive and electrical and electronic equipment sectors.

By using secondary thermoplastics, the fast-growing sectors will limit energy, water, and resource consumption. Furthermore, it will cut gas emissions while reusing critical raw materials.

Find out more about LIFE PlasPLUS.

Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/the-future-of-the-worlds-plastic/