Plastic waste doubles in Covid time 

plastic

In last few months coronavirus has generated a surge in plastic waste and there was a major disconnect between expectation and action on reducing plastic waste, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said. The findings were revealed in a survey report by the UNEP and Food Industry Asia (FIA).

The survey was held in five countries which are considered to be among the top 10 sources of plastic marine debris globally. Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam are the major five countries were the survey was held.

UNEP’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Dechen Tsering said that plastic pollution was choking the waters of South-East Asia. Tsering pointed out that a fundamental change was needed against plastic pollution. The governments, businesses and consumers should take efforts to against plastic pollution, the regional director said.

Some of the Key findings:

  • People are concerned about plastic waste, but are not changing habits.The survey said that 91 per cent of the consumers were concerned about plastic waste issues but a few were likely to buy a product from non-recycled material.
  • Business houses understand that their current efforts are not sufficient.The survey reported that 82 per cent of them are extremely concerned about plastic waste but only a half thinks that the present efforts are sufficient to address the issue. .
  • Focus on recycling plastic increasing. When 54 per cent of consumers are recycling and converting their plastic waste into useful products, 38 per cent indicate their interest to do so in the next 12 to 18 months.
  • Many business establishments are not engaged in industry collaborations to tackle plastic waste. About 50 per cent of the business establishments are not part of any group who tackle plastic waste issues.

The Survey was held in from January to April 2020. Food Industry Asia Executive Director Matt Kovac opined that many more business establishments need to join platforms to scale up efforts against plastic waste. “Policies, projects and funds must work concurrently, as must key actors across the plastics value-chain to build a multi-stakeholder approach that enables businesses, consumers and governments to find ways to create circular approaches to plastics,” Matt Kovac said.

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