By Doug Woodring
- Published on April 29, 2015 by The Economist Intelligence Unit
A new version of this article is available here (The Terramar Project) >>
A report last year commissioned by the UN estimated the annual impact to the ocean from plastic pollution was US$13bn. This is not going to improve in a hurry. The World Bank expects the planet’s municipal solid waste to nearly double within 15 years, much of which will be in the form of single-use plastic items.
Population growth and rising consumption are drivers of this. Yet not many countries in the world are well-prepared for this increase in waste, as stresses on land and water quality mean that our old ways of getting rid of the “mess” are by no means infinite.