Corporate pledges to lower plastic pollution are not translating into lower plastic pollution, according to a new study from Research and Markets. According to the research, done by a U.S.-based team of researchers, voluntary commitments made by the world’s biggest companies emphasize plastic recycling over lowering plastic production.
While recycling is considered an important part of a circular economy, 80 percent of a product’s environmental impacts are determined when it’s being designed.
As of 2015, only nine percent of the world’s plastic was recycled. Most went to landfill, while 12 percent was incinerated, venting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Roughly 11 million tons of plastic flows into the ocean each year, and this number is expected to almost double by 2040.