U.N. REPORT: 90 percent of plastic never recycled.

07. January 2019 | Waste, Social | via Triblive.com

The 2018 report, “ Single-Use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability ,” paints a bleak picture of the future for U.S. curbside recycling if steps can’t be taken to remove plastic bags from the equation, according to an article on Triblive.com. And the current track record for plastics recycling is even worse: 90.5 percent of the plastic waste generated in the world has not been recycled, according to the report.

That percentage was dubbed the “International Statistic of the Year” by the London-based Royal Statistical Society.

Just one example from the U.N. report: Each year, consumers world-wide use an estimated 5 trillion plastic bags. That’s a rate of about 10 million per minute. If all of those bags were tied together, a year’s worth would wrap around the Earth seven times.

In real-world terms, that 90.5 percent statistic adds up to about 6.3 trillion metric tons of plastic that has either been incinerated or dumped somewhere in the world.

“It’s very concerning that such a large proportion of plastic waste has never been recycled,” said Sir David Spiegelhalter, president of the Royal Statistical Society who chaired the Stats of the Year judging panel. “This statistic helps to show the scale of the challenge we all face.”

Plastic bags, in particular, pose a challenge both in terms of reducing their overall use as well as reducing their impact on recyclers and the environment.

Top 10 countries that recycle.