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Plastics change could reduce ’30 billion tonnes of waste’

February 15, 2013

Plastics change could reduce ’30 billion tonnes of waste’

Scientists have said that outdated policies for managing plastic waste should be changed to try and prevent there being another 33 billion tonnes of plastic on Earth by 2050.

In a journal article in Nature, Chelsea Rochman, from the University of California, and Mark Anthony Browne, from the National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, in California, say that labeling some plastics as hazardous could reduce the waste and threats to health and wildlife. They say plastics should no longer be classified as solid waste in Australia, the United States, Europe and Japan because doing so means they are treated the same way as food scraps.

The article says that 280 million tonnes of plastic were produced around the world in 2012 and less than half went to landfill or was recycled. Of the remaining 150 million tonnes, some may still be in use but the rest litters continents and oceans.

“We believe that if countries classified the most harmful plastics as hazardous, their environmental agencies would have the power to restore affected habitats and prevent more dangerous debris from accumulating,” the scientists wrote in the article.

Read more at Eco News.

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