Sustainability and Plastic Waste [Book Chapter]
Chapter from "Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability, Volume 2", edited by Pasquale Ferranti, Elliot M. Berry, and Jock R. Anderson.
Plastics are the dominant material for food and beverage containers and packaging. As a waste, the majority of plastics are landfilled, incinerated, or become litter; only 9% of all plastics are recycled. In addition to the low recycling rate, which is not sustainable, the increasing buildup of plastics in the environment, especially in the oceans, has made plastics a global concern. In the marine environment, plastics breakdown to microplastics, which negatively impact marine organisms through accidental and intentional ingestion. Most efforts to address plastic waste have been undertaken by local governments, but increasingly, national and state-level governments are seeking to shift the environmental responsibility of plastic waste back onto the producers as a means to reduce plastic waste.
Marine debrisSingle-use plasticsRecyclingPlasticWasteMicroplasticsPlastic strawsExpanded polystyreneExtended producer responsibilityNational sword
Wagner, T. (2019). Sustainability and Plastic Waste, In P. Ferranti, E.M. Berry, & J.R. Anderson, J. R. Encyclopedia of food security and sustainability.(pp. 588-92). Elsevier, Amsterdam.