The world demands and produces more and more plastic every year. In 2018, global production of plastics reached 360 million metric tons. This figure is even higher if we include plastics used in manufacturing synthetic textiles, synthetic rubber, and plastic additives. A very small portion of the plastic so far produced in the world has been recycled. Most of the rest has ended up in landfills, open dumps and the natural environment. Part of this plastic finds its way to rivers, lakes and the oceans. If current consumption patterns and waste management practices do not change, by 2050 it is estimated that there will be approximately 12 billion metric tons of plastic litter in landfills, open dumps and the natural environment.
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