Around 311 million tonnes of new plastic is produced worldwide every year. In 1950 it was only about five million tons of plastic. The production of plastic increases annually by 8%. In the last ten years even more plastic has been produced than in the entire twentieth century and about half of all the plastic that is produced is for single use and is immediately thrown away.
The disposal of plastic products has significant consequences for the environment. Most plastics are not degradable. They will remain in landfills until those landfills are cleaned up. The size of the land needed for landfills is an increasing concern all over the world. Also in Europe, landfills are still in use and many former landfills have not yet been remediated. Only a small part of the plastic is recycled. New plastic is usually made from fossil raw materials, while recycled plastics are hardly ever used in high-quality products.
0.25 tons of plastic is added to our oceans every second. That is one full truck per minute, 1440 trucks per day and eight million tonnes per year. Approximately 94% of all the plastic that ends up in the water ends up on the seabed. If we continue like this, our oceans will have more plastic than fish in 2050, predicts the Ellen McArthur Foundation. That is because we produce more plastic instead of less every year: from 311 million tons in 2014 to 622 million tons in twenty years. That is the same as 622 billion kilos!
The biggest cause of plastic soup is litter from land. We all play a decisive role in this, from consumers to companies and governments.
The plastic litter consists mainly of disposable packaging material. Of all the plastic that we consume every day, we throw away 50% within twenty minutes. About 3% of that ultimately ends up in water. Reducing once-used plastic will therefore ultimately have the greatest effect on the plastic soup.
In terms of waste processing, the differences per country or region can be enormous, plastic leakage to the environment is directly related to this. When reuse and recycling can prevent plastic from being dumped, a huge decrease in plastic leakage to the environment automatically follows. It is therefore necessary in any case to raise recycling to a higher level. (source: Plastic soup foundation)
Designstar tries to think along with you, the grower. Our biodegradable material PLM-BIO is an environmentally friendly option to have your plantlabel printed on. But sometimes this material is not suitable for your product, you would prefer a plastic. But you don’t want to pollute the world extra with even more single-use plastic material. Then Designstar also offers you an option. We work with 100% recycled PS material for our insert labels. Not only does this material already consist of recycled PS, it can be recycled again after use. The burden on the environment is minimized.