The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has stated that of the $75 billion in estimated annual environmental damage due to plastics, food and beverage companies are the largest culprits, responsible for 23 per cent of the cost.
IFPRI in a statement on its website added that the global food system also has a plastic problem, maintaining that macro and micro-plastic pollution is contaminating aquatic and agricultural ecosystems threatening food security.
According to IFPRI, plastics are entering food chains, threatening both animal and human health. The report stated that to curb these problems, policies that limit a particularly dangerous trend such as the rise in single-use plastic production and distribution; encouraging more nutritious and ecological alternatives to throwaway items must be a central component of a healthy and resilient food system.
“Plastics play an important role in many industries, from medicine to construction.
But more than one third of annual plastic production is, by definition, expendable: Cheap, single-use plastics that are used once and then thrown away,” IFPRI said.
IFPRI added: “Seventy nine percent of disposable plastics end up in landfills or in our natural environments; 12 per cent are burnt. Only 9 per cent of plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. At current growth rates, plastics will account for 20 per cent of fossil fuel demand by 2050 up from approximately 6 per cent in 2016 and contribute 15 per cent of the annual global GHG emissions budget rising from 1.7 Gt of CO2 equivalent in