S. Korea, 3rd largest contributor to Great Pacific Garbage Patch
The Ocean Cleanup published the results of analyzing 573 kg of plastic waste collected in 2019 in the international journal Scientific Report. The research team analyzed plastic waste based on the language and company name written on the surface of plastic waste, and found that Japan had the most with 34%, China was the second with 32% and Korea was third with 10%. It was followed by the US (6.5%), Taiwan (5.6%), and Canada (4.7%). It turned out that more than 80% of the trash was fishing waste such as nets, ropes, and buoys.
The OECD Plastics Outlook reported that the annual production of plastics has doubled, soaring from 234 million tonnes (Mt) in 2000 to 460 Mt in 2019. Plastic waste has more than doubled, from 156 Mt in 2000 to 353 Mt in 2019. The plastic waste problem is particularly problematic in the ocean. According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), 8 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year. The US National Renewable Energy Institute estimates that if plastic waste is continually dumped as it is now, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight by 2050.
The international community is stepping up to solve the plastic problem. At the 5th United Nations Environment Assembly held in Nairobi, Kenya on March 2nd, government representatives from 175 countries agreed to make a “legally binding international agreement to end plastic pollution” by 2024. As a first step towards this, the first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee was held in Uruguay from November 28th to December 2nd. This was the effort to draw responsibility for the entire process from production to disposal of plastics, including marine plastics, and to derive effective and legally binding plastics reduction policies to free the world from plastic pollution.
<저작권자 ⓒ 먼데이타임스 무단전재 및 재배포 금지>
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