Beyond Plastics: Problem & Solutions in Puerto Rico
Greetings to all our citizens.
You are receiving this reminder because you registered for the event: Beyond Plastics: Problem and Solutions in Puerto Rico; for Friday, May 13, or Saturday, May 14, 2022. We appreciate your pinvolvement in creating the necessary change to effectively solve the problem of plastic waste pollution on our Island. The event will be at 10AM via Zoom, on both dates.
You can access through this link.
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A Few Things to Know about Plastic Pollution
Between 1950 and the present moment, the world has produced over 8.3 billion tons of plastics.
– Most of this was manufactured in the past twenty years.
– By 2015, more than 2/3 of this was already waste.
Plastic waste generation in the United States has increased from 60 pounds per person per year in 1980 to 218 pounds per person in 2018 – a total increase of 263%.
We are not very good at managing all of this plastic in a way that protects the environment.
- According to a Beyond Plastics and Last Beach Clean Up report released on May 4, 2022, the plastic recycling rate in the United States is estimated to be between 5 and 6%.
- Per the legal definition of recycling articulated by the FTC Green Guide, no plastic food service item, including the polypropylene cups lids that Starbucks touts as recyclable, has ever been recyclable.
- Even when disposed of in trash receptacles, over 2 million tons of plastic is known to “leak” each year, according to 2016 estimates.
Where does it go?
Most of today’s litter is plastic.
- Plastics make up 70-80% of the litter that winds up in the environment.
- The majority of this litter is single-use items, including plastic packaging, tobacco-related waste (e.g., cigarette filters, product packaging, and e-cigarette cartridges), and unidentified fragments sourced from larger items.
Much of it winds up in the oceans.
- Between 8 and 15 million tons of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans each year. This is the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck of plastic waste into the ocean every minute.
- If current practices continue, we will be dumping up to 53 million tons per year by 2030, roughly half of the total weight of fish caught from the ocean annually.
- A study in 2020 concluded that the United States was the 3rd to 12th largest contributor of plastic waste into the coastal environment.
Can we stop this?
Yes! But it will take some effort.
- Plastics are a trillion dollar business. In 2019 alone, the United States engaged in over $119 billion in trade of plastic products.
- Citizens and activists can advocate for bans on single use plastic items such as straws, bags, and polystyrene tableware, they can push for “Extended Producer Responsibility” (EPR) laws that hold manufacturers accountable for the waste they generate, and they can demand reusable options and circular infrastructure from vendors and townships.
- So many ways! People can make their voices heard by writing letters, speaking out on social media, holding meetings with elected officials, and showing up in person to protest or support laws that stem the tide of waste.
- Learn more at beyondplastics.org/trainings.