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Sea Change in Reducing Plastic Waste

The problem of proliferating plastic waste on land and in the ocean was one of the many focuses of last month’s Rio+20 conference. One side event, Plasticity, focused on how companies and their stakeholders can find solutions by scaling up new technologies, products and processes.

Global consumption of plastic exceeds 500 billion pounds annually. Many countries are just beginning to recycle significant amounts of plastic. The U.S. recovers less than 8 percent of plastic for recycling. Plastic particles and debris have been found in all parts of the ocean, including the five ocean gyres. Growing concern about plastic pollution in our environment was evident as avoiding ocean plastic was voted the top concern in a Rio+20 Sustainable Development Dialogue on Oceans, garnering more than 1 million votes from around the world.


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