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THE IMPACT OF PLASTIC ON THE PLANET


Beatriz SIgaud – Senior Partner at DMS PARTNERS


There is a lot of discussion about the intensive use of plastic and the countless impacts on the planet and human health. Plastic has become ubiquitous around the world. It is possible to find microplastics in Arctic ice, in the air, in human lungs, in fish, in river water and oceans. There is currently no place on the planet that does not have a trace of plastic.


The plastic disposal process has also become a major problem. If we continue at the current rate, we will have more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050.


An estimated 400 million tons of plastic are produced annually, and by 2025, plastic production is expected to reach more than 600 million tons.


Some types of plastics are difficult to recycle and do not generate interest from recycling companies.

recycling as the resale value is very low. The consequence is that these plastics end up being discarded incorrectly. In landfills, plastics mix with organic materials, generating methane gases, which are 25 times more polluting than carbon dioxide.


Due to pressure from consumers, competitive markets, physical and transition risks caused by climate change, companies around the world are already beginning to integrate environmental, social and governance aspects into their strategic planning, as they understand that to To become more sustainable, innovative and competitive in the future, they will need to implement strategies and develop action plans based on these criteria. Otherwise, they will not be able to remain profitable in the long term.


In this new scenario, we have seen several initiatives from companies and NGOs that help reduce the impact of plastic on the environment.


Local waste management systems must also be improved. Partnerships between governments, plastic producing companies, non-governmental organizations, community groups, collector groups, transport companies, exporters and importers of plastic waste, plastic waste recyclers, etc., are essential to gradually eliminate the trade in plastic waste.


Solutions must include product redesign, the gradual elimination of chemical additives and the creation of systems that follow the zero waste principles defined by the circular economy.


Therefore, new global agreements will be necessary with the aim of creating stricter rules to limit the impact of plastic on global warming, ocean pollution and people's health, considering the production, use, transport and final destination of this waste. .


In short, it is necessary to increase society's awareness so that companies and governments do their part, as the future of humanity depends on these actions.


In the next post we will explore in more detail what companies and NGOs are doing to reduce the impact of plastic on the planet.


References:


STIFTUNG, Heinrich Böll. Plastic Atlas. Brazilian edition. Rio de Janeiro: 2020.

Available at: https://br.boell.org/pt-br/2020/11/29/atlas-do-plástico. Accessed in: September 2022.


KUMAR, Shashi. HAVEN; Brian. Grand View Research, 2022. Available at:

https://www.grandviewresearch.com. Accessed in: September 2022.

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