Plastic waste is an equally big problem away from the high seas, filling up landfill sites, clogging rivers, and generating pollution through open burning or incineration. Some plastics also contain and leach out hazardous chemicals, posing further risks to wildlife and people.
Bad packaging design, a lack of infrastructure, and the absence of a means to track plastic waste all limit the effectiveness of recycling, and ensure that most plastic packaging will continue to become waste for the foreseeable future.
Even worse, much of the packaging collected for “recycling” in the Global North is exported to the Global South. Before it banned the trade in 2018, China alone imported nearly 8 million tonnes of plastic waste a year. Now the top destination for this waste is Southeast Asia, where the lack of infrastructure and regulations make it difficult to manage the influx of trash from both domestic and foreign sources.
In the meantime, the companies that produce fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) are opening up new markets in the Global South, pushing more products packaged in single-use and single-portion plastics.
Join the global movement to reduce single-use plastic:
Whether you’re planning a cozy dinner, a breezy picnic, or even a large-scale community event, there are creative ways to avoid single-use plastics.Take Action Today
Take the reusable container challenge and join the movement that is already changing the way we eat! Let’s make reusable the new normal!Take Action Today
Take the reusable container challenge and join the movement that is already transforming the way we shop for groceries!
One of the best ways to make change is to lobby at the local level. Your elected officials represent you so let them know what you think!Take Action Today
Citizen activists are cleaning up local riverbanks, parks, and beaches and using these events to identify the companies that are polluting their hometowns.Take Action Today
The classroom is a great place to start discussing plastic pollution and how to address it. Kids can develop their science knowledge and leadership skills, all while learning how to build a better future. Educators—you can inspire youth to change the world!Tools for Educators