We need to know more about what goes into plastics in the first place and better regulation of how recycled products are used
- Dr Charlotte Lloyd is a researcher in environmental chemistry at the University of Bristol
Sometimes it feels like we are simply drowning in plastic. Over the past five decades plastic products have found their way into almost every aspect of our daily lives. Global plastic production has reached a total of 8bn tonne – that’s 1 tonne for every person currently on the planet – with plastic pollution expected to triple by 2060.
Current best estimates are that only about 10% of plastic ever produced has been recycled. Despite this, the idea of circular economy in the plastics industry is often cited as the magic bullet: we will simply reuse the plastic we have already made and reduce the impact of plastic pollution. But new evidence points to the flaws in this plan. A report by Greenpeace has found that recycled plastic can be even more toxic, and is no fix for pollution.
Dr Charlotte Lloyd is a researcher and lecturer in environmental chemistry at the University of BristolContinue reading...