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Is Plastic Pollution Akin to the Broken Windows Theory?

By Doug Woodring

- Published on April 29, 2015 by The Economist Intelligence Unit

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.


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