Britain’s Royal Statistical Society has announced its 2018 Statistic of the Year—but there’s little reason to celebrate.
The society called attention to the growing problem that plastic presents to the environment with this sobering figure: 90.5% of plastic has never been recycled.
90.5 %! Britain’s Royal Statistical Society selects eye-opening % of plastic that's never recycled as statistic of the year. The stat comes from research by SEA's Dr. Kara Lavender Law @klavlaw https://t.co/6inixZHJEL pic.twitter.com/pGf1yTpEk0
— SEA Semester (@SEA_Semester) December 19, 2018
While plastic can be refurbished for nearly unlimited reuse, plastic waste can often take centuries to break down and its presence in the environment threatens wildlife of land and sea.
Twitter saw why the statistic was notable.
— Atilrak (@thisspeckofdust) December 19, 2018
Here’s where I get on board with environmentalists. Plastic litter is a real threat.
— Joe spina (@Joespina24) December 19, 2018
we must do more for our earth
— bumpy (@bumpy811926) December 19, 2018
Plastic: Worse than Trump
— The Fishing Rabbit (@RedTheRabbit) December 19, 2018
I will be more careful
— Carlenna Brattin (@CarlennaBrattin) December 18, 2018
Until 2017, numerous countries including the United States imported nearly half of all plastic waste to China for recycling. That arrangement fell through with China’s passage of the National Sword policy which forbade further plastic imports to the region.
As a result, the plastic refuse of several nations is beginning to pile up, and many don’t have a plan for allowing the plastic recycling process to go uninterrupted.
Locally, it’s become harder to recycle plastic waste.
My area won't take plastic at all to recycle!
— 🐘 MisFit 🐘 Island 🐘 (@missfitisland) December 19, 2018
I have lots of old plastic straws and my local recycling center doesn't take them. How should I dispose of them?
— Paul Baker (@paulbakerexeter) November 25, 2018
The problem may seem insurmountable, but most are in agreement that action must be taken.