Affected by the epidemic, the global demand for and use of plastic products continues to increase. These plastic products have brought huge damage to the ecological environment after being discarded. Plastic waste such as masks and gloves was washed to remote beaches, and plastic packaging for takeaway food and express delivery piled up in landfills. It is urgent to control plastic pollution.
In order to curb the impact of plastic waste on the environment, governments of various countries have introduced control measures to promote the implementation of policies. Related companies have also responded to the government's environmental protection initiatives and pursued sustainable operations.
Difficult to reuse plastic waste becomes a burden
The United Nations reports that as many as 5 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year. However, only 9% of the world's 9 billion tons of plastic products can be recycled, and most of the rest will end up in landfills or flow into the natural environment. The hard-to-degrade, low-recyclable plastic waste has caused a heavy burden on the environment and economic development.
Helping environmental protection companies promote the "new plastic economy
In January 2016, the World Economic Forum in Davos released a report entitled "New Plastics Economy-Rethinking the Future of Plastics". It was the first time that the vision of establishing a plastic circular economy was put forward, with the purpose of applying the principles of circular economy. Let plastic never become waste. As countries around the world gradually increase plastic restrictions, relevant companies have also innovated technologies, researched and developed related environmentally friendly products, and promoted the plastic economy vision to reality through actions.
At the Australian National Plastics Summit in 2020, the industry issued several important announcements to show how companies can help meet the challenge of plastic waste. Among them, Australia's largest rigid plastic producer Pact Group announced an investment of 500 million Australian dollars to update facilities, research and improve technology to increase the use of sustainable packaging. By 2025, increase the recyclable content of its product portfolio to 30%. Air Australia plans to reduce 100 million single-use plastic items such as cups, cutlery and lunch boxes by the end of 2020 and replace them with compostable items.
In response to the call of the South Korean government, South Korean companies have joined the ranks of environmental protection. A local integrated food company established a marine plastic waste management team to carry out the "3-year plan" activities dedicated to reducing marine pollution. For the 40 fishing vessels it manages, the management team will reduce the use of plastic products on board by 65.4% within 3 years. In addition, the company's subsidiaries have successfully developed ultra-light environmentally friendly glass bottles to replace colored plastic bottles for beer.
Asda supermarkets in the United Kingdom will pack new plant coatings for fresh produce, which has been approved by the European Commission. The London start-up CupClub uses electronic tag technology in the Internet of Things to design a cup recycling system. By setting up recycling points in the city, people can use re-washable cups like renting a shared bicycle. It will cooperate with McDonald's and Starbucks at the beginning of this year. Achieve cooperation.
In 2019, 30 companies including the German chemical company BASF established the "Plastic Waste End Alliance" in London. These companies plan to invest a total of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars by 2024 to invent technologies to improve waste recycling. In addition, there are many creative companies in Germany that "turn waste into treasure". For example, the Pentatonic Furniture Factory in Berlin uses plastic bottles and disposable cups that people discard every day to make various tables, chairs and cups.
According to Statista statistics, in 2018, only 4.5% of Germans would buy plastic bags when shopping for food; 57% of the people would not buy disposable plastic bags when shopping; 72% of the people supported the levy of plastic bags. Parades or art exhibitions related to plastic waste are often carried out across Australia to increase the public's awareness of plastic reduction. A researcher from the National Institute of Ecology in South Korea said: “Every consumer should be aware of the importance of reducing the use of plastic products. Only when every individual makes efforts can we achieve true environmental protection.”
Controlling plastic pollution and promoting the establishment of a "new plastic economy" are inseparable from the active participation of ordinary people. With the continuous advancement of national-level policies in various countries, the environmental protection awareness of the people of various countries is also increasing, and plastic pollution will eventually become a thing of the past.
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