The authors of the latest study, whose results were published in an article US Contribution of Plastic Waste to Land and Sea This indicates that the United States produces more plastic waste than any other country. This text appeared in Scientific Advancement on October 30 this year (DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abd0288).
According to the study’s authors, the United States generated 42 million tons of plastic waste in 2016, of which more than 2 million tons ended up at sea. 0.14 million to 0.41 million tons of garbage was dumped illegally in the United States, and 0.15 million to 0.99 million tons of waste produced in the United States was mismanaged in exporting countries. Scientists estimate that the amount of plastic waste generated in the United States in 2016 was five times higher than in 2010.
China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam have traditionally been considered the largest emitters of plastic waste. The Hope was released in October of this year. US strategy for the global problem of marine litter (United States federal strategy to solve the global problem of marine debris) In the 5 Asian countries mentioned above we read in it that more than half of the plastic waste flows into the sea every year.
In a previous study conducted by the same team of scientists in 2015, the United States ranked 20th in emitting plastic waste into the oceans and seas (Plastic waste inputs from the sea, ” Science ”, DOI: 10.1126 / Science.1260352). In that study, however, the researchers did not take into account the garbage that the United States exported overseas for recycling, but it was mostly done in the environment. 
Currently, the United States ranks 20th to 3rd among the most polluted coastal waters. “Let’s face it, a large portion of the American population lives in coastal areas. We are the biggest consumer and this has obvious consequences. We must abandon the foolish notion that Asians should stop dumping their waste at sea, ‘says Ted Seekler of DSM Environmental Services in Windsor, co-author of the study.
In fact, according to a 2010 analysis, the U.S. coastal population generates the largest amount of plastic waste compared to any other country (13.8 million tons, 112.9 million people). As for Europe, the researchers reported overall figures (EU-28, 14.8 million tonnes, 187.3 million population). China is in third place (11.6 million tons, 262.9 million people).
Who’s more junk?
Between 2010 and 2016, global plastic production increased from 33% to 422 million tonnes by 26% (Production, use and regulation of all plastic products manufactured so far, DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.1700782), and the share of plastics in solid waste worldwide increased from 10% to 12% in 2016, reaching 242 million tons. Using updated World Bank waste generation and characteristic data for 217 countries and additional data available to the United States, scientists calculated 2016 plastic waste production by the total population of each country. According to both World Bank estimates (34.0 Mt) and researchers’ own calculations (42.0 Mt), the U.S. population produced the largest amount of plastic waste in the world in 2016, and also recorded the highest annual waste production from plastics next per capita plastic waste generation. Countries with the highest populations are India and China. In turn, the EU produced more plastic waste than India or China. However, even in EU countries, the per capita plastic waste production rate was 50% lower than in the United States.
In 2016, only 9% of all plastic waste was recycled in the United States. Half of these were tested domestically and the rest were shipped overseas. As a result, scientists estimate that approximately 1 million tons of U.S.-exported plastic waste end up in the environment. “For years, plastic waste has been exported in large quantities to countries that have difficulty managing their own waste, not to mention the enormous amount of remittances sent from the United States,” said Cara Lavender Law, professor of marine at sea. Education Association, Associate Teacher Recent Study.
Commenting on the research results, the American Chemical Council said, “Plastic waste is unacceptable in our environment, and American plastic manufacturers are working to quickly develop responsible solutions to solve this problem.” Joshua Paka, ACC’s vice president of plastics, said the goal is to reuse, recycle or recover all U.S. plastic packaging by 2040. He said U.S. waste exports have fallen by almost 70% since 2016. However, the study noted that this decline was mainly due to the 2017 Chinese ban on imports of plastic waste.
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