Plastic Waste Makers Index (PWMI) 2023 shows the planet’s plastic pollution problem is worsening, and new estimates of lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from single-use plastics demonstrate how single-use plastics producers also contribute to the climate crisis.
- There is more single-use plastic waste than ever before (139 million tonnes in 2021)
- Single-use plastic is not only a pollution crisis but also a climate one
- Recycling is failing to scale fast enough and remains a marginal activity for the plastics sector
- Within the petrochemical industry, there are two outliers making strong commitments to recycling and producing recycled polymers at scale
The Minderoo-Monaco Commission on Plastics and Human Health finds that plastics are both a boon to humanity and a stealth threat to human and planetary health. Plastics convey enormous benefits, but current linear patterns of plastic production, use and disposal with little attention to sustainable design or safe materials and a near absence of recovery, reuse and recycling are responsible for grave harms to health, widespread environmental damage, great economic costs, and deep societal injustices. These harms are rapidly worsening.
Minderoo Foundation announced an expansion of CDP’s global environmental disclosure system in collaboration with CDP, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and The Pew Charitable Trusts. This addition will include plastics-related questions and metrics in CDP’s annual disclosure questionnaires, commencing with a pilot in 2023.
The costs to society from plastic pollution — including environmental clean-up, ecosystem degradation, shorter life expectancy and medical treatment — exceed US$100bn per year, according to this research which sheds light on the growing global plastics crisis.