A new report by the World Wide Fund (WWF) analyses the volume of plastic packaging placed on the market in six rapidly growing Asian economies — China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The report was commissioned by German consultancy GVM, which specialises in the packaging market.
The report finds 93% of the waste of low-income countries is dumped in the environment, compared to 4% in high-income countries. Single-use plastics and packaging for consumer goods, particularly, increase plastic pollution. Globally, 36% of plastic usage is for packaging and over a third of it lands up into the environment.
Of the six countries analysed in the report, Malaysia’s per capita plastic packaging consumption is the highest, at 16.78 kg. It is followed by Thailand (15.52), China (14.08), Vietnam (12.93), Indonesia (12.5) and the Philippines (12.4).
China’s annual household packaging consumption is the highest, at 19,765 million tonnes. It is followed by Indonesia (3,265), the Philippines (1,281), Vietnam (1,223), Thailand (1,069) and Malaysia (523). In China, plastic films and bags are the most used type of packaged plastic, followed by PET bottles and plastic cups and other containers. In the other countries, household usage of plastic films and bags and PET bottles is the highest. Overall, the total annual household plastic packaging consumption in these countries is at 27 million tonnes.
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The report estimates that 60% of marine plastic pollution originates in these countries and 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans every year. It has projected a 300% increase in plastic packaging between 2010 and 2050.
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