Clean Tech

On plastic pollution

| Updated on June 27, 2021

IMAGE: ISTOCK.COM   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

IMAGE: ISTOCK.COM   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

IMAGE: ISTOCK.COM   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

IMAGE: ISTOCK.COM   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Ever since the pandemic began, plastic waste has gone up by almost 30 per cent in each household. Streets, beaches, and oceans have been hit by a tidal wave of Covid-19 waste including plastic facemasks, gloves, hand sanitiser bottles and food packaging, says UNCTAD.

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Historical data tell us that about 75 per cent of coronavirus plastic is likely to become waste, clogging our landfills and floating in our seas. A survey cited by The Los Angeles Times reveals that during an eight-week lockdown, Singapore discarded an additional 1,470 tonnes of plastic waste from takeout packaging and food delivery alone.

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The production of plastic uses around 8 per cent of the world’s oil production. We recover only 5 per cent of the plastics we produce. In fact, it is estimated that over one million plastic bags are used every minute.

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46 per cent of plastics float and can continue to drift on water bodies for years before eventually concentrating in the ocean gyres. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California, is twice the size of Texas.

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One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from the plastic in our oceans.

Published on June 27, 2021

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