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NO plastic world


Dreaming doesn’t cost anything, even if it always has to come up against reality.

How beautiful a world without plastic would be! Or rather, a world where plastic was man’s friend, and not one of his most bitter and deadly foes.

According to several studies (including Science Advances, 2017), there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050. Over the past 60 years, 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced. At current rates, the world’s landfills will contain 12 billion tonnes of this material by 2050. And around 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the seas every year. In contrast, only 15% of plastic worldwide is recycled, 25 % is incinerated and the rest is stored in landfills. According to the OECD, the European average is 30% of plastic waste recycled; Italy is at 40% but ranks third in the world in terms of the highest consumption of bottled water, with about 208 litres per person per year and 8 billion bottles wasted.

The Covid 19 pandemic has made things worse. As Cop26 in Glasgow highlighted, an estimated 11 million extra tonnes of plastic will be produced in 2021, largely due to hospital waste and online shopping packaging, of which 26,000 tonnes will end up in the seas.

Individual countries are trying to do something. An example is Lithuania, where since 2016 beverage in plastic containers have been sold in supermarkets with a surcharge that corresponds to the deposit for emptying them, to encourage consumers to return and make them available for immediate reuse. In Italy, many disposable plastic products have been banned since mid-January: not only the production, but also the sale of plastic cutlery and plates, straws, cotton bud sticks, sticks for balloons, food and drink containers made of expanded polystyrene. Good news. Every year in Italy 100,000 tonnes of single-use plastic cutlery and plates are consumed. When turned into waste, they account for 50% of all waste on European beaches. In practice, out of 10 pieces of waste, more than 8 are plastic, the vast majority of which are disposable.

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