A new report from UK-based campaign groups Tearfund, Fauna & Flora International and WasteAid has moved the debate about the harmfulness of plastic to a new level.
With the title ‘No Time to Waste: Tackling the Plastic Pollution Crisis Before It’s Too Late’, the report, published on May 14, says that plastic waste is not only polluting the oceans and harming fish and seabirds. It claims that plastic pollution on land is contributing to the deaths of as many as one million people per year in the developing world.
It found that people are dying in developing countries as a direct result of living too close to uncollected waste and plastic pollution; these materials are responsible for diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria and some cancers. The report says the number of people affected is between 400,000 and one million per year, which at the upper end means one person is dying every 30 seconds because of this waste problem.
The report calls on multinational companies to change their business models and to commit to reporting by next year the number of single-use plastic items they distribute in developing countries, and to halving this figure by 2025.
Patrick Schröder, an academic at the Institute for Development Studies, a research body that helped write the report, commented: “Plastic pollution is damaging our planet and our lives. The current model of ‘take, make, use and dispose’ is unsustainable. Businesses, governments and citizens need to embrace a circular economy that promotes sustainable consumption and production and reduces environmental impacts.”
Report courtesy of Leatherbiz