Plastic Pollution

Can the world solve the plastic waste problem?

  • By:Robert Kiener
  • Content Type: Report
  • Publisher: CQ Press
    • Publication year: 2010
    • Online pub date:
  • DOI:


To many, plastic is a modern-day miracle: versatile, cheap to produce and durable. To others it is a scourge: a ubiquitous, nondegradable pollutant that threatens to choke the global environment. The world uses more than 100 million tons of plastic annually but recycles less than 5 percent of it. The rest — plastic bags, water bottles, disposable lighters, take-out food packages and the like — can end up in the world's oceans and along shorelines. Plastic litter also clogs sewer systems causing deadly floods, chokes animals and contaminates fish with toxic chemicals, potentially endangering humans who eat the fish. Plastics take a toll on a wide range of animals, including cows in India, which die from starvation after clogging their stomachs with plastic bags they ...

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