Around 85% of plastic packaging worldwide ends up in landfills.
In the United States, which is by far the world's biggest plastics polluter, only around 5% of over 50 million tons of plastic waste produced by households in 2021 was recycled, accordingto Greenpeace.
With plastic production set to triple globally by 2060, plastics made primarily from oil or gas are a growing source of the carbon pollution fuelling climate change. Much is also ending up in oceans and severly impacting marine life.
Promises by major plastics producers like Nestle and Danone to promote recycling and include more recycled plastic in their containers have been mostly broken.
The plastics lobby, along with supermarkets in countries from Austria to Spain, sometimes avoid this responsibility by lobbying againstdeposit return schemes that include plastic bottles.
But there is hope. New universal plastic regulations are currently being negotiatiated as part of a global plastics treatyaiming to streamline the production, use and reuse of plastic using a circular economy model.