Plastic costs society a fortune
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Plastic costs society a fortune

  • 07 September 2021

The plastics crisis is assuming unprecedented proportions and the current approach to the problem is failing. This is the conclusion of the new report 'Plastics: The cost to society, environment and the economy' by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), published on 6 September 2021.

4 trillion euros

Global plastic pollution cost society, the environment and the economy over four trillion euros in 2019. If no action is taken, these costs will double in the next 20 years. By comparison, this equates to 85 per cent of global health spending in 2018 and is higher than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Germany, Canada and Australia combined. The report further shows that governments and citizens are unconsciously accepting a plastic system that has negative consequences for people and the environment. It is also striking that the price of plastic contrasts sharply with harmful side effects. If the price of plastic is EUR 1, it costs us EUR 10 to counteract the harmful effects of that plastic.

Support for treaty negotiations

At the first-ever Global Ministerial Meeting on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution on 1 and 2 September, countries expressed support for moving forward with treaty negotiations. This is part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. WWF is urging all UN member states to negotiate a global treaty to address all stages of the plastic life cycle and stop the leakage of plastic pollution into the oceans by 2030.

Source: WWF

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