Poll: 75% of world's population want single-use plastic banned
An IPSOS poll exposes the increasing frustrations of civilians across 28 countries who believe that single-use plastic should be banned and that corporates should be held accountable.
According to an IPSOS poll released on Tuesday, 75% of people across 28 countries want to see single-use plastic items banned once and for all. Upon such findings, United Nations members prepared to begin talks to put a limit on plastic pollution.
The number of people who demand a ban is up 71% since 2019, and people who said they prefer products with less plastic packaging increased from 75% to 82%.
The IPSOS poll surveyed 20,000 people in 28 countries.
Activists are saying that the poll results convey a clear message to the upcoming governmental meeting which will take place in Nairobi this month, from February 28 to March 2. The meeting will come up with a treaty to counter plastic waste, which will be the most important environmental pact since the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The director general of the World Wide Fund for Nature, Marco Lambertini, said "People worldwide have made their views clear," and that "the onus and opportunity is now on governments to adopt a global plastics treaty ... so we can eliminate plastic pollution."
Almost 90% of the surveyed people said they are in favor of a treaty. But it is not clear what the treaty will be focusing on, regarding whether it is waste collection and recycling or radical measures which target production.
The countries with the greatest support for plastic bans are Colombia, Mexico and India.
Last week, Reuters revealed that big oil and chemical industry groups were lobbying for conference delegates to reject any covenant which would put a limit to producing plastic, as it would hurt their billions of dollars in profit.
That being said, the poll revealed that 85% of respondents want corporates and manufacturers to be held accountable for their use of plastic.
Read more: Top corporations fall short in fighting climate change
Plastic pollution threatens marine wildlife, the air we breathe, and the survival of entire ecosystems, according to a WWF study released recently. Elephants have also been dying from eating plastic waste.
The world's biggest polluter
The United States is the world's biggest contributor to global plastic waste in the world, a new report submitted in December 2021 to the federal government revealed.
The report called for a national strategy to tackle the crisis exacerbating climate change, whose repercussions have been ravaging the world, causing major catastrophes.
The analysis found that the United States has contributed some 42 million metric tons in plastic waste in 2016, which is more than double the amount China did and more than the European Union combined.
The United States, Britain, and South Korea topped the standings with 130 kg per capita, 99 kg per capita, and 88 kg per capita, respectively.
The report, "Reckoning with the US Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste," was mandated by Congress as part of the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act enacted in December 2020.
Global plastic production saw a 20-fold between 1966, at 20 million metric tons, and 2015, at 381 million metric tons.
Research showed that around 1,000 species of marine life are susceptible to plastic entanglement or ingestion of microplastics. And those can make their way eventually into humans through the food web.
At the current rate, there is a risk of reaching 53 million metric tons discharged into the ocean annually, which amounts to half the total weight of fish caught from the ocean annually, the report said.
"An estimated 8 MMT of plastic waste enters the world annually, the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck of plastic waste into the ocean every minute," it found.