A new study found that the United States produced more plastic in a year than any other country. Scientists warn that this figure could rise even more during a pandemic.
The United States has generated more plastic waste than any other country in the world. The results of the study, published in the journal Science, also show that, despite a “reliable and affordable waste management system,” between 309 and 904 million kilograms of plastic waste were illegally dumped in the United States.
Researchers found large amounts of improperly disposed waste after it was sent to other countries for recycling, the study said. More than 88% of waste was sent to countries where more than 20% of waste was not handled properly.
Scientists have found that plastic waste pollutes all major ecosystems, it affects wildlife and human health. Especially considering that smaller and more widespread plastic particles are found in the natural environment.
According to the study, global plastics production grew by 26% from 2010 to 2016. The United States is followed by China, India and the 28 countries of the European Union in the ranking of plastic waste production. However, the researchers warn that since the study was conducted several months ago, this figure could rise due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier, a new study published in the journal Nature Food showed that high levels of microplastics (MP) were released from breastfeeding bottles during formula preparation. Research also indicates a strong relationship between heat and MF release. Consequently, warmer liquids – the mixture itself or the water used to sterilize the bottles – result in much more microplastic contamination.