it would appear that the UK and the USA addiction to plastic is worse than any other countries in the world. As well as general waste the USA also comes between third and eleventh (depending on what’s included) in terms of the amount of their plastic that ends up in the marine ecosystem.
It should be noted that in the past research has suggested that the USA is actually 20th in its waste plastic, however this didn’t account for the plastic that they export all over the world, or for the illegal dumping that happens within the USA.
Data from 2016 shows that more than half of America’s waste plastic was exported to countries around the world that are already struggling to recycle their own plastic waste. It is all very well to export your plastic for recycling elsewhere however it is incumbent upon you to make sure that the waste you export is indeed treated in the way that needs to happen. You do not lose the moral responsibility for it once it leaves your own shores.
Furthermore the problem is not merely a question of reducing unnecessary plastic waste, as it is estimated if all all current reduction strategies were fully employed around the world we would still have created 700 million tonnes of plastic by the year 2040.
We need to not only reduce consumption, but also increase reuse and recycling. Oil is not an unlimited resource, and while other production methods may become viable, we really need to be able to continually reuse substances like this.