The world is drowning in garbage. According to a recent World Bank study titled “What a Waste 2.0”, under current trends the world will generate 3.4 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste per year by 2050, up from 2.01 billion tonnes in 2016.
The solid waste has various sources. Food and other biodegradable waste comprises 44 % of the total. Close behind are dry recyclables such as plastic, paper, cardboard, metal and glass, with a combined 38 %. The rest spans a range of materials including wood, rubber and leather.
Plastic waste is a particular challenge – and far too much ends up in the oceans. “In 2016, the world generated 242 million tonnes of plastic waste – 12 % of all municipal solid waste,” the report says. “Unlike organic waste, plastic can take hundreds to thousands of years to decompose in nature.” This waste leads to considerable health and environmental damage, the report says: “Plastic waste is causing floods by clogging drains, causing respiratory issues when burned, shortening animal lifespans when consumed, and contaminating water bodies when dumped into canals and oceans.”
Source: Development and Cooperation - https://www.dandc.eu/en/article/tide-trash-rising-worldwide-causing-health-problems-and-environmental-damage