Recycling all mismanaged plastic waste in South and Southeast Asia could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a quarter of a billion metric tons by the end of the decade and help combat climate change impacts, a new report says.
Investing in proper waste management and recycling solutions in Southeast Asia and India could reduce emissions by 229 million metric tons by 2030, the equivalent of closing 61 coal-fired power plants. Report Published on Wednesday.
Mismanaged plastic waste refers to uncollected and improper disposal of plastic waste, including litter and trash, which is left open or burned, polluting the surrounding environment.
This report covers Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and India. It was produced by the New York-based nonprofit The Circulate Initiative, which is part of a toolkit designed to quantify greenhouse gas emissions, plastic waste management, and the energy and water consumption of recycling solutions across South and Southeast Asia.
Among the six countries, the proportion of mismanaged plastic waste ranged from about 50% to 75%, with Indonesia producing 5.8 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste annually, the report said, the highest amount among the six countries.
India comes second with 5.3 million metric tons of waste annually, while Vietnam produces 4.6 million metric tons. Thailand produced 3.4 million metric tons, while Malaysia and the Philippines produced 1.2 million metric tons annually.
According to researchers, every ton of plastic waste in landfills releases about 3 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change.
According to the report, six countries could prevent around 20 million tons of emissions by 2030 by replacing plastic waste recovery and recycling solutions with incineration and waste-to-energy approaches.
Another scientific report published in April found that Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia are among the top five countries in the world for producing large amounts of municipal solid waste, at 1.14 kilograms per capita per day.
Globally, mishandled plastic is a significant challenge and closely tied to the worsening climate crisis. Environmental experts estimate that 140 million metric tons of plastic waste have already accumulated in oceans and rivers worldwide.
By 2040, plastic waste in the ocean will nearly triple to 29 million metric tons.
However, research indicates that it is possible to reduce plastic leakage into the ocean by 80% by 2040 using existing technologies.
Beyond the risks to marine and terrestrial environments and humans, plastics have a carbon footprint and emit 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases, or about 3.4% of global emissions, 90% of which are derived from their production and fossilization. Fuels.
By 2060, emissions from the life cycle of plastics will double, reaching 4.3 billion tonnes of emissions.
Radio Free Asia is a news service affiliated with BenarNews.
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