(2023-05-23) Plastic Pollution Could Be Slashed By 80% By 2040 UN Says

Plastic pollution could be slashed by 80% by 2040, UN says. Global plastic pollution could be slashed by 80% by 2040, according to a report from the UN Environment Programme (Unep). The changes needed are major, but are also practical and affordable, the agency said.

The world currently produces 430m tons of plastics a year, two-thirds of which are short-lived products that soon become waste. Production is set to triple by 2060 on current trends.

The report estimated that the increased reuse of plastics could reduce 30% of plastic pollution by 2040, with measures including deposit-return schemes for containers. Such a scheme is due to start in England in 2025, seven years after it was first announced.

More recycling would cut pollution in 2040 by a further 20%, the report said. Taxing virgin plastic and removing fossil fuel subsidies are policies that would encourage this, by making recycling more economically attractive compared with producing new plastic.

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