Scary statistic: 90.5 percent of plastic is not recycled

Scary statistic: 90.5 percent of plastic is not recycled
In this Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 photo piles of electronic waste is placed next to a drain chocked with plastic and garbage in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

The world's burgeoning plastic waste crisis has won the attention of Britain's Royal Statistical Society, which chose 90.5 percent—the proportion of plastic waste that has never been recycled—as its international statistic of the year.

The , which chooses a winner from nominations made by the public, picked the statistic generated in a U.N. report based on the work of U.S. academics Roland Geyer, Jenna R Jambeck and Kara Lavender Law.

Public awareness of the problem has been growing, particularly after filmmaker David Attenborough's documentary "Blue Planet II" showed shrouded in plastic, among other horrors.

Geyer says he was honored by the accolade and hopes "it will help draw attention to the problem of plastic pollution that impacts nearly every community and ecosystem globally."


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Citation: Scary statistic: 90.5 percent of plastic is not recycled (2018, December 18) retrieved 26 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-scary-statistic-percent-plastic-recycled.html
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Dec 18, 2018
About the same proportion of plastic that cannot be recycled because it's mixed polymer and won't result in the worth of the original product. It can only be "downgraded" or burned, or cracked and reformed at a great cost.

Not a surprising development.

Dec 18, 2018
About the same proportion of plastic that cannot be recycled
Would that not logically imply that all plastics that can be recycled - actually are being recycled? If you agree that this is the logical implication of your statement - do you have any support for that implication?

Dec 19, 2018
In Africa and parts of Asia and the ME they burn trash for warmth and to get rid of it. You can see the black tendrils of toxic stuff from all the plastic and smell it in the air. It's getting recycled into your lungs.

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