Since records began in the late 1980's, over a quarter of a billion tonnes of plastic waste has been traded globally.
Virgin plastic production and consumption have reached unsustainable levels. Overproduction has meant inexpensive virgin plastic is used freely and inefficiently, with unfavourable economics for most recycling, leading to a stark discrepancy between how much plastic is produced and how much is recycled.
The new legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution will need to consider measures across the full lifecycle of plastics. So called ‘midstream’ measures, for example on product design, will be essential to complement absolute reductions in plastic production.
Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) – also known as ‘ghost gear’ – is a major contributor to marine plastic pollution.