This is concerning because about 441 million tons of plastic waste are generated worldwide each year, according to the United Nations, and that would more than double by 2040 if we remain on the course we’re currently on, as the World Ocean Initiative reported. Of those hundreds of millions of tons, only about 9% gets recycled, according to the International Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Given the hundreds of years it can take for plastic to decompose, that’s a lot of accumulation.
China is one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of plastic, consuming at least one-fifth of the world’s single-use plastics, the South China Morning Post reported. On top of that, the country is the largest producer and exporter of single-use and new plastics made without any recycled material, per Earth.org.
According to that outlet, about a third of the world’s companies that operate facilities producing single-use plastics are in China, and the packaging in the photo certainly appears to be single-use, as is the case for a lot of food packaging.
Besides polluting the land, about 8.8 million tons of plastic finds its way into the oceans every year, per Earth.org. There are currently two huge patches of garbage in the Pacific Ocean, one near Southeast Asia and the other off the West Coast of the U.S. and Mexico, much of which is plastic. There’s also a large swath of garbage in between.
One commenter responded to the pic sarcastically, saying, “If only corn came wrapped in its own container … ”
Another said, “This is infuriating, stupid, wasteful, etc.”
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