It is estimated that around the world we buy 1 million plastic bottles every minute. That is a whole lot of plastic bottles. Plastic is found everywhere, from shopping centres worldwide to smaller convenience stores. It is such a shame that possibly 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year. It’s no wonder it’s having such an impact on our environment. International recycling is so important and so many countries around the world are starting to make great changes to recycling.
International Recycling of Plastics
Countries that use the most plastic include China, Indonesia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. While changes are in place, there is a lot of work to be done. Thailand have a great plan in place which hopes to ban single use plastics at the start of 2022 and to have all plastic material recycled by 2030. Plastic waste is such a huge issue, not only in these countries but all around the world. Whether the waste ends up in our oceans or landfill, these plastics can take hundreds of years to break down. While the use of single use plastics is so huge, there are some countries that are leading the way in recycling.
Recycling Efforts Around the World
Here in Australia we are not at the top in our recycling efforts. There are many countries ahead of us. Germany has the best rate in the world, with 66% of waste recycled. South Korea, Sweden and Wales also have a great recycling rate. What these countries have in common is government policies that encourage recycling. Such as making it easy to recycle, financial incentives and good funding for recycling.Other countries around the world offer other little incentives to encourage recycling. People in Rome can use their plastic container and bottles to get a discount off their metro tickets. The UK and Germany have reverse vending machines in some supermarkets that reward uses with loyalty points for every plastic bottle deposited. Australia has something similar to this, where people can deposit their recyclable cans and bottles in exchange for cash rewards. Although this is a great idea it is not yet available in every state.Australia needs to continue to take steps in the right direction when it comes to recycling. We all need to keep making informed decisions about what we purchase and how we dispose of it.