The GuardianThe Guardian

Whisper it, but the boom in plastic production could be about to come to a juddering halt

By Geoffrey Lean

13 Jun 2023 · 3 min read

informed Summary

  1. A new treaty to control plastics could cut production by 80% by 2040, according to the UN.

Plastic production has soared some 30-fold since it came into widespread use in the 1960s. We now churn out about 430m tonnes a year, easily outweighing the combined mass of all 8 billion people alive. Left unabated, it continues to accelerate: plastic consumption is due to nearly double by 2050.

Now there is a chance that this huge growth will stop, even go into reverse. This month in Paris, the world’s governments agreed to draft a new treaty to control plastics. The UN says it could cut production by a massive 80% by 2040.

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