More Plastic Than Fish In Sea By 2050

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Davos: Over 40 industry leaders, including from India, on Monday rallied here in support of a new plan to recycle plastic waste, fearing that oceans may have more plastic than fish by 2050 if no urgent steps are taken.

The plan aims to increase total recycling from 14 per cent currently to 70 per cent of total plastic packaging.

The plan, presented here in a report by the WEF and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, observed that there could be “more plastics than fish (by weight) in the ocean by 2050 if no action is taken immediately”.

The report said that 20 per cent of plastic packaging could be profitably reused, for example by replacing single-use plastic bags with re-usable alternatives or designing innovative packaging models. A further 50 per cent of plastic packaging could be profitably recycled if improvements are made to packaging design and after-use management systems.

This could bring in an additional $90 to $140 per tonne of mixed plastics. Without fundamental redesign and innovation, the remaining 30 per cent of plastic packaging (by weight) will never be recycled and 10 billion garbage bags per year will be destined to landfill or incineration.

One of the signatories to the plan, Malati Gadgil, treasurer of Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat, said, “Through first-hand experience, KKPKP knows how recyclable plastics create income for waste pickers in India.”

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