Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Selling Plastic Pollution

The world throws away a huge amount of plastic every year. Many countries dump a large proportion of their plastic waste on other countries. The Trade in Plastic explores how much plastic waste is thrown away by each country around the world. It also examines the global trade in waste plastic and some of the illegal practices in disposing of plastic. A Trade in Plastic includes two main maps showing how much plastic is thrown away around the world and where that plastic ends up.

A waste production per capita map shows how much plastic is thrown away each day by people in different countries across the globe. On this map scaled circular markers show the difference in the amounts of plastic thrown away by people in each country. You can click on the circles to view the exact amount. This is useful for quickly seeing which countries have the biggest problem in plastic waste production. For example, the average American produces over six times as much plastic waste as the average Dane.

Another map shows the global import and export of waste plastic. On this map scaled colored circular markers show the amount and proportion of plastic waste countries export and / or import. China and Hong Kong is where most of the world's exported plastic waste ends up. China however is beginning to wake up to the problems associated with importing the world's plastic waste. The result could be that this waste ends up going to countries with even weaker environmental regulations. Alternatively governments around the world might wake-up and start working to lower the amount of plastic thrown away and taking responsibility for the actual waste produced (only joking - that'll never happen).

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