US is the biggest contributor to global plastic waste in the world Photograph:( Reuters )
The report highlighted several steps to address the increasing problem, including the reduction of virgin plastic production
A new report by the federal government revealed that the US is the biggest contributor to global plastic waste in the world as it contributed around 42 million metric tons of plastic waste in 2016. With this, the government has called for a national strategy to tackle the increasing problem.
Titled "Reckoning with the US Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste," the report states that every American generates 130 kg of plastic waste per year.
Accounting to a 20-fold increase over half a century, global plastic production increased from 20 million metric tons in 1966 to 381 million metric tons in 2015.
Margaret Spring, chief science officer of Monterey Bay Aquarium said, "The success of the 20th-century miracle invention of plastics has also produced a global scale deluge of plastic waste seemingly everywhere we look." She further deemed plastic waste as an "environmental and social crisis," that is impacting coastal communities, polluting water bodies, placing economic burdens on communities and endangering wildlife.
The report highlighted several steps to address the increasing problem, including the reduction of virgin plastic production.
Several nations are doing their bit to fight against the problem of increasing plastic. For instance, the UK government is planning to ban single-use plastic plates and cutlery and polystyrene cups.
The UK government will also be examining a way to put the responsibility on manufacturers and ensure that they are doing their best to tackle single-use plastics. This also includes litter from cigarette butts.
Meanwhile, France has decided to ban plastic packaging for nearly all fruit and vegetables from January 2022 in a bid to reduce plastic waste, followed by Spain which aims at banning the sale of fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic from 2023.
(With inputs from agencies)