The World is drowning in Rubbish

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Posted Oct 18, 2019 | Chatham House, Kate O'Neill

All wastes are global: plastic, paper, discarded electronics, cars, bikes, clothes and even food waste cross national borders. The plastic problem on the international agenda because of the growing volume of plastic debris in the world’s oceans, killing wildlife and starting to appear across the marine food chain. Kate O’Neill argues in this article for Chatham House that only global action will solve the crisis in recycling now that China has stopped importing scrap. Between 2000 and 2018, China had taken in up to half the world’s plastic waste exported for recycling.  The inability of many rich countries to find replacement facilities or enact circular economy legislation, shows that circular economies need to be supported by international action, or they can break down.


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