According to a survey published by Reuters and IPSOS, three-quarters of the world’s population wants to ban single-use plastics such as soft drink bottles.
The survey identified an increase from 71% in 2019 in favour of similar actions. The strongest support for banning single-use plastics came from the respondents in Mexico, Colombia and India, all of which have been affected by plastic pollution. according to Reuters.
The poll, published early Tuesday London time, also found that 85% of respondents said manufacturers and retailers should be held “accountable” for reducing the impact of plastic waste. The survey interviewed 20,000 people from 28 countries.
“People worldwide have made their views clear,” Marco Lambertini, director-general of the World Wildlife Fund International, told Reuters. “The onus and opportunity are now on governments to adopt a global plastics treaty… so we can eliminate plastic pollution.”
The governments will have the opportunity to reach such an agreement later this month. When representatives from different countries meet in Nairobi to plan a pact on plastic, Reuters reported. The meeting is scheduled for February 28 to March 2.
What is single-use plastic?
Single-use plastics are produced and manufactured in such a way that once used they are thrown away. According to this definition, all plastic products fall under this category. This includes everything from disposable straws to disposable syringes.
We produce roughly 300 million tonnes of plastic each year and half of it is disposable. World-wide only 10-13% of plastic items are recycled. The nature of petroleum-based disposable plastic makes it difficult to recycle and they have to add new virgin materials and chemicals to it to do so. Additionally, there are a limited number of items where recycled plastic can be used.
Petroleum-based plastic is not biodegradable and usually goes into a landfill where it is buried or gets into the water and finds its way into the ocean. Although plastic will not biodegrade (decompose into natural substances like soil), it will degrade (break down) into tiny particles after many years. In the process of breaking down, it releases toxic chemicals, which make their way into our food and water supply.