In order to address Armenia’s environmental challenges, Develop Armenia will launch very soon an initiative to figh plastic problem in Armenia.
Mountains of plastic waste are building up around the globe after China implemented a ban on other countries’ trash.
By 2030, an estimated 111 million metric tons of single-use drink bottles, food containers and other plastic junk will be displaced because of China’s new policy, according to a new paper from University of Georgia researchers, who cited UN global trade data for their study.
Before the ban, China reigned as the world’s largest importer of plastic leftovers. The paper, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, said that China has imported 106 million metric tons of plastic waste for recycling since 1992, making up 45.1 percent of all cumulative imports.
But last year, China announced it no longer wanted to take in other countries’ trash, so it could focus on its own pollution problems.
The unexpected policy shift has left exporters in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Germany and other European countries like Armenia scrambling for solutions for their trash. The U.S. alone had sent 13.2 million tons scrap paper and 1.42 million tons of scrap plastics to China’s recycling centers annually.
Plastic bottles are made from a petroleum product known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and they require huge amounts of fossil fuels to both make and transport them.
It’s harder to recycle plastic bottles than you think. Of the mass numbers of plastic bottles consumed throughout the world, most of them are not recycled because only certain types of plastic bottles can be recycled by certain municipalities. They either end up lying stagnant in landfills, leaching dangerous chemicals into the ground, or they infiltrate our streets as litter. They are found on sidewalks, in parks, front yards and rivers, and even if you chop them into tiny pieces they still take more than a human lifetime to decompose.
It gets worse. In the case of bottled water, the plastic-making process requires over two gallons of water for the purification process of every gallon of water.
The world as well as Armenia is now struggling to recover from its plastic pollution hangover.
Corporations, municipalities, and even national governments are proposing and implementing bans on plastic straws. Some companies have jumped into the fray by manufacturing metal and glass straws that environmentally conscious consumers can buy for personal use, though they lack the disposability of paper and plastic from which restaurants benefit.
The same businesses that once benefitted from public excitement over plastic are increasingly feeling public pressure to use alternatives.
Environmental groups, however, say plastic straw bans are an important step toward their ultimate goal: ending the circulation of single-use plastic.
Plastic has been highlighted as one of the biggest environmental threats facing the world by the UN in a call to action issued to mark World Environment Day.
While emphasizing the success of many international efforts to tackle plastic waste, the organisation described how the “scourge of plastic” has reached every corner of the Earth.
In Armenia and after the Velvet Revolution, society is waiting a new plan and strategy for entire waste management in the country. Meanwhile many NGOs and INGOs are working in the country to help and support the fight against plastic pollution.
Let us hope 2018 sees an even bigger united force to tackle plastic pollution in Armenia – taking part in a rivers and lakes clean and reducing our consumption of plastic waste would certainly be a good resolution after the new changes in the country.
What Can We Do About Plastic Bottles in Armenia?
Based on the practical solution : Reduce – Reuse – Recycle, we will start working to minimize the negative and dangerous environment impact of the plastics in Armenia.
Stay connected with us and the initiative will be launched very soon starting from the municipalities, clubs, schools / universities and till every single Armenian citizen.
Your cooperation and collaboration will be very appreciated – Join our team and let’s be part for the combat against plastic pollution in Armenia.