Published in the latest issue of “Science Progress” magazine, a study said that since the early 1950s, humans have produced 8.3 billion tons of plastic, most of which became waste, was placed in landfill or Scattered in the natural environment, causing pollution problems can not be ignored. Researchers have called for critical thinking on plastic product use and waste management issues, and think about the need for plastic in some cases.
The team, led by researchers at the University of California, University of California, Santa Barbara and the Association for Marine Education, has for the first time analyzed the production, use and ultimate fate of all plastic products worldwide. The researchers collected production statistics for various industrial resins, fibers and additives, and integrated the data according to product type and use.
Data show that in 1950 the global plastic production is 200 million tons, and by 2015 will increase to 400 million tons, the output exceeds the cement, steel and other than any kind of man-made materials. While in the production of a total of 8.3 billion tons of plastic, there are 6.3 billion tons of plastic completely into waste. Of these discarded plastic products, only 9% were recovered and 12% were burned, and the remaining 79% of the waste was buried in the landfill or accumulated in the natural environment. While the pace of plastic production did not slow down the signs, according to the current trend, by 2050, the world will have about 12 billion tons of plastic waste.
Analysis shows that, with the main use of cement for construction, steel will have at least several decades of service life is different, the largest plastic market is packaging, most products are disposable, after the use of waste. The researchers pointed out that half of the plastic products in 4 years or even shorter time into a waste.
Most of the plastic will not be biodegradable, they may survive for hundreds or even thousands of years, the white pollution caused by the problem can not be ignored. Previously, the research team showed that only 8 million tons of plastic entered the ocean in 2010. Researchers call that humans should seriously consider the management of materials and waste used, although plastic is essential in some areas and there is no need to completely remove them from the market, but a more rigorous review of how plastics should be used.
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