Green recycling policy is killing the oceans with plastic pollution, says a shock report by a Finnish public health expert.
The report, written for the Global Warming Policy Foundation by Mikko Paunio, adjunct professor in general epidemiology at the University of Helsinki, is titled Save the Oceans – Stop Recycling Plastic.
The title may sound odd to ordinary people, but the sad fact is that the global “recycling” industry has significantly added to the marine plastic litter problem.
I have put recycling in quotes, because only a small fraction of plastic recovered from consumers is actually recycled: the material collected is dirty and so mixed up that it is impossible to produce the high-quality raw material required by, for example, the food-packaging industry. Most recovered plastic is simply burned or dumped: on land, in rivers, or even directly in the oceans.
Unable to recycle waste in line with the targets imposed on them, rich countries have chosen to dump it — plastic, paper and cardboard — on poor ones, especially China. Lower environmental standards in much of Asia has made it cheaper to manage waste there and low-quality recycled plastic can sometimes be profitably produced from these waste streams, albeit in highly polluted conditions.
In recent years, the stream of waste delivered to China expanded vastly. Annual imports reached 85 million tons, including 8 million of plastic. The quantity was so huge that inspection at ports became impossible, and the unscrupulous found that even mixed or hazardous waste could profitably be sent, disguised as “recycling” to avoid landfill tax or high management costs in rich countries. Unable to handle this tsunami of refuse, the Chinese were forced to either burn or dump vast quantities. An unknown amount found its way to the oceans.
The consequences for the environment and for public health of this “recycling” madness have therefore been horrendous, and have ultimately proved too high for the Chinese, who have now banned waste imports entirely. Recent figures suggest that recycling businesses in the UK have responded by simply shipping waste to Asian countries with even weaker environmental standards. So even more waste will end up in the oceans in future.
In recent months, plastic pollution has become the favoured cause of environmentalists, as it finally dawns that the public is heartily sick of being lectured about ‘climate change.’
Read the rest at Breitbart.