Plastic has become a big part of our lives. It is light, it is strong and seems cheap, but is wreaking havoc on our planet. Every year we produce 430 million metric tons of plastic, most of which becomes waste after just one use. We produce enough single use plastic each year to fill over 21 million shipping containers. If they were stretched end to end, it would circle the earth. Not once, not twice, but three times.
Plastic pollution If business as usual continues, plastic production will triple by 2060. If business as usual continues plastic could produce 19% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions by 2024, getting us further and further away from the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. This would be very bad news for people and the planet.
How can we beat Plastic Pollution in India. So the question is how can we address plastic pollution? In a recent report, UNEP lays out how we can reduce plastic pollution by up to 80% by 2040. The first step is to reduce how much plastic we use, period. We also need to deal with the immense legacy of plastic pollution. But more importantly, we need to transform the way we produce and consume the stuff.
A life-cycle approach to reduce virgin plastics. Life cycle approach Eliminate problematic and unnecessary plastics, minimize waste and keep plastic in use for as long as possible. It can also create better jobs and business opportunities. Three important shifts are required. Three important shifts One: we need to scale reuse.
This means creating a market for reusable products and making it more profitable than using single use plastic products. Two: we need to make recycling plastics more profitable. Improving recycling can reduce plastic pollution by 20% by 2040.Three: we must find ways to make products that are less harmful to the environment.
This includes finding materials to replace plastics and making sure they are better than plastics we use now. In 2022, world leaders agreed to end plastic pollution. With negotiations on the binding legal agreement still underway, the question is how can we realize that goal?
If we reduce, reuse, recycle and reorient we can significantly reduce plastic pollution by tackling its root cause, not just its effects. If we shift to a circular economy for plastics by 2040, we could save $4.5 trillion. We would also improve the livelihoods for millions of workers worldwide. The technology and solutions already exist. It's time to take action.