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36 MIN READ TIME

CHITOSAN

MOST of us are already aware that plastics are the source of major global problems of pollution, but the figures for plastic waste are truly staggering. We have now dumped an estimated 8.3 billion tons of plastic waste throughout the world, with around 8 million metric tonnes (1 metric tonne = 1.102 tons) of plastic waste entering our oceans each year globally, and a further estimated 263 million tons going to landfill or ending up littered around our natural land environment. Only around 10%, or 30 million tons of plastic are recycled each year as recycling processes are fraught with problems due to the huge variety of plastic compounds and their contamination by substances such as inks. Plastics take around 500 years to decompose, releasing toxic and carcinogenic compounds into soil and water as they degrade. Global plastic production in 2014 was 343 million tons and this is projected to double in less than 20 years. The problem of plastic production, in itself a toxic process, and disposal of plastic waste is now a major threat to the life of our planet.

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iScot Magazine
May 2018
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