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A recent United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimate said that countries can cut plastic pollution by 80% by 2040. This decrease is achievable by using existing technology and implementing significant legislative reforms.
The UNEP plastic pollution report focuses on three primary points: reuse, recycling, and reorientation.
These three changes will aid in the development of the circular economy. This can be achieved by encouraging reuse options such as refillable bottles and bulk dispensers that can cut plastic waste by 30 percent by 2040. Recycling previously made plastics can save an additional 20 percent. Products created from alternative materials can reduce plastic pollution by an additional 17 percent.
According to Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP, “the way we produce, use, and dispose of plastics is polluting ecosystems, posing risks to human health, and destabilizing the climate.” The report also discusses particular regulations, such as requirements for design, safety, and biodegradable and compostable plastic; minimum recycling objectives; EPR programs; levies; prohibitions; communication tactics; and labelling.
Professor Steve Fletcher, Director of the Global Plastics Policy Centre at the University of Portsmouth and one of the report’s lead authors, has stated, “The report provides a roadmap for governments and an action plan for businesses to end plastic pollution by 2040.” He also pointed out that success depends on urgent simultaneous action across borders.
The increasing usage of plastic, as well as the creation of millions of tonnes of material, has caused major worry in society. The actual problem with plastic is its unnecessary usage. Half of the plastic we make is intended to be used once and then discarded. This so-called single-use plastic’ has polluted our oceans and lands. Single-use plastics contribute to waste and pollution problems, harm our health, and endanger our seas and animals.
Plastic takes over 400 years to break down. It remains in the natural environment for a very long period, inflicting damage. Scientists believe that by 2050, there might be three times as much plastic in the ocean as there is today. Almost 700 species of marine creatures have been recorded to have eaten or become entangled in plastic.
Also Read: Only One Earth Initiative By UNEP