Environmentalists have revealed how the developed countries force-feed their developing counterparts with plastic pollution.
This is amid growing concern on the impact of plastic wastes, which science has proven to be biodegradable, on the ecosystem.
According to a report by 4ocean, a Florida-based company, which produces bracelets and apparels from recycled materials, America’s waste management infrastructure is insufficient to handle its population’s recycling demands; hence, in 2016, half of the country’s plastic wastes was shipped abroad.
“Our plastic waste is clogging our landfills, many of which are reaching capacity. What doesn’t end up in a landfill is often exported to developing countries,” 4ocean said.
Another report by Seneo Mwamba of Global Citizen – published by Giving Compass, a community transformation organisation – disclosed that the average individual ate 70,000 microplastic each year.
To further substantiate the reports above, United Nation Environment Programme reportedly launched a scathing report on plastic and environmental inequality, entitled ‘Neglected: Environmental Justice Impacts of Plastic Pollution.’
The UNEP report exposed the truth about how the plastic industry was capitalising on ‘false solutions’ such as recycling, when single use plastic waste was more likely being shipped off to developing countries than being recycled.
It also demonstrated the impact of plastic, at every stage of its production, on underprivileged communities – from the oil extraction to its disposal in the environment, to its incineration. Should it even reach this point, the report asked.
Reacting to the UNEP report, Pan-African Plastic Lead at Greenpeace Africa, Angelo Louw, lamented that the developed countries have no consideration for the disadvantaged communities that they were being driven even further into disarray.
“The plastic industry even bullies our governments, who are trying their best to manage the plastic pollution crisis, into bending their laws, so that they can continue with their profit-making agenda. Last year, we exposed an example of corporate attempts to destabilise Africa’s plastic-free ambitions, where the American Chemistry Council lobbied to include clauses in on-going Kenya-United States free trade agreement negotiations, which undermine their single-use plastic bans.
“In countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, corporations are ignoring anti-plastic legislation and this is forcing governments to make large investments into the enforcement of these laws. Why should our countries be burdened with the additional cost? Why can’t corporations respect our laws? Why can’t they respect our decision to achieve a healthy life?” he lamented.
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