Plastic is made from fossil fuels and greatly contributes to pollution worldwide.
All the plastic waste we produce ends up somewhere, be that the street, the landfill or the ocean. Disposable plastic, in particular, has come under scrutiny by many countries, with some mulling or having enforced bans on plastic bags or straws. This page collates DW content on plastic pollution.
Though there is growing awareness about plastic pollution, we're still generating a lot of new plastic, almost all of which is derived from fossil fuels. The International Energy Agency warns that plastic production is on track to account for 20% of the world's oil consumption by 2050. That has environmentalists worried and calling for reductions in the amount of plastic produced.
Between 1,000 and 3,000 tons of plastic are estimated to be floating in the Mediterranean Sea. While Lebanon only boasts a tiny fraction of Mediterranean coastline, the country makes a pretty significant contribution to its pollution. There have been recent efforts to clean up Beirut's beaches, but do they symbolize a new era or are they just a government public relations campaign?
220 kilos — that’s how much packaging waste a German citizen produces each year according to the German Environment Ministry. It's more than the European average, which is 167 kilos per person. Increasing amounts of German waste are being exported to Turkey. But Turkey is one of the countries most responsible for polluting the Mediterranean, according to a report from the World Wildlife Fund.
In many parts of the world, take-back schemes offer more than just a litter-free environment — they offer an income to those who need it. In the absence of any local recycling system, residents of Shakas Head, South Africa partake in an initiative that rewards them for collecting discarded plastic bottles.