Jessica Chapman


Over the past decades, the importance of plastic has significantly improved. It is now everywhere, and it is almost impossible to go a whole day without coming in contact or using plastic. Plastics are there in our electronic devices, household appliances, the synthetic fibers of our clothes, etc. It is one material that makes our modern lifestyle possible, and things would be very different without its usage.

The importance of this material means that it is produced in large quantities and is used in various industries in different ways. It is safe to say that it has its advantages; plastic packaging helps to reduce the cost of transportation of manufactured goods around the world as it improves fuel economies. Food packaging is another great importance of plastic. It reduces food loss drastically as the food can remain fresh for a longer time. It saves energy by improving building insulation.

In the medical industry, plastic packaging that is hermetically sealed and disposable plastic instruments have helped to improve sanitation significantly. For consumers, too, plastics reduce product costs and also increase convenience. Other goods sourced from traditional materials such as stone, leather, wool, cotton, metal, wood, glass, etc., have lost a competitive edge against plastic-made products.

There’s no sign yet that we are going to stop using plastics anytime soon. It has revolutionized almost all industrial sectors in the last few decades. It plays a crucial role in commercial sectors, from the carpet, furniture, and nonstick cookware in our homes, to the covering, instrument enclosures, seating, and paneling in our vehicles, to the personal protective equipment for medical personnel, medical devices, the synthetic rubber of tires, etc. Plastics are everywhere and in everything.

They are also very durable, stable, lightweight, inexpensive, easily formable, and chemically inert. The problem, however, is that it persists for so long in the ecosystem. It doesn’t disintegrate easily and can survive for hundreds or thousands of years in the environment. They’ve also been mismanaged for decades, resulting in used plastics encroaching into every ecosystem on earth. In a statement by best assignment help in UK, we are now at a critical point in accumulating waste plastic. While this poses a significant challenge for the earth, there might be opportunities in it as well.


The estimate for plastic resins produced in a year reaches 318 million tonnes. Most of this contributes directly to the total annual waste generation of solid plastic, which reaches 218 million tonnes as of 2016. The average recycling rate for plastics globally is only 15%, while another 40% is mismanaged. Ultimately, this is leaked into the environment through stormwater washouts, littering, etc. There is an estimate of 50 million tonnes of plastic wastes that are burned openly per year. An estimated 10 million tonnes enter into the aquatic environment of the ocean per year. Approximately 90 percent of plastics that enter the ocean come from land-based sources.

All of these facts point to the same thing, showing how much of a challenge plastic waste is for waste managers in the world today. This doesn’t have to do with the large quantities of plastics produced and become waste every year. Still, it also includes the properties of the material, such as non-degradability, low density, and high durability. Although these properties are suitable for plastic products, they are undesirable for the stream of solid wastes we have to deal with. They stress the current waste management system and create challenges for introducing new practices for proper waste management. They could be leaked into an environment very easily and stay in the environment for so long that they negatively impact the fauna through entanglement. They could also find their way into the food chain in the form of microplastics.

Plastic wastes are a big challenge for waste managers. In order to make things right, two classes of countries must be addressed:

  • Countries (A) with less developed or poor waste collection and disposal systems. The priority is to ensure that they reduce plastic wastes leakage into the environment. Then create an approach for public waste management that focuses on recovery.
  • Countries (B) with a functional waste collection system to help implement the circular economy have to focus on using plastic waste’s resource value.

However, according to the best essay writing service, there are obstacles and challenges to attaining the goal for each case. In the case of countries (A), the biggest challenge is plastic waste mismanagement. For instance, the plastic waste that China produces is more than 14 million tonnes every year, and they mismanage 75% of it. This is also the case with all Asian developing countries mishandling more than 50% of their plastic waste.

In this case, the objective is to create an effective scheme for waste collection that minimizes open burning and other types of leakages into the environment. A good option is to use plastic-rich waste as an alternative fuel source. This will help to manage the amount of plastic waste while also using plastic energy content. Achieving this requires significant investment for comprehensive processing and also to recycle more plastic waste. This is why it is not feasible to use modern recycling systems for countries A.

Other recycling options like substituting plastics for sand or paving roads and walkways have to be evaluated for more sustainability to leak into the environment in worse forms like microplastics. Another good measure is restricting importations of low-quality plastic waste to prevent more local waste management system problems.  For countries B, the main challenge is that these developed countries build their waste systems on exporting these wastes to Asian markets, which pay exorbitant prices for these materials as assets. Many Asian countries still accept shipments of plastic wastes of poor quality from these developed countries. However, these nations are expected to introduce import restrictions soon. This is in addition to the international regulations on waste shipment, which further restricts shipping plastic wastes into other places.

These conditions don’t just ask for regionalized solutions to plastic waste management. It also provides the best framework to support the implementation of these regionalized solutions.


While the challenges in the management of plastic wastes persist, there are still opportunities for it. The commerce sector has a variety of plastics which is a challenge. There are also technologies like the NIR (Near Infra-Red) sorting and other options for mechanical treatment for processing conditioned plastic wastes so that the quality of recovered plastics is high enough to be used as secondary materials to replace primary resources.

Another alternative is the feedstock recycling program which is becoming more critical and will only expand the available options to make a high-quality recovery. These technological processes result in some share of plastic rejects that can’t be recycled yet. The only way to address this is to focus more on the designs for recycling products and packaging that are partly made out of plastics. There are cases where it is more justifiable to consider banning the production of certain products made from materials that are difficult to recycle.

For Europe, the broader implementation of infrastructure for sorting and treatment necessitates clear boundary conditions and investment security on a nationwide scale. The incentives for using recyclates are also essential because it would increase the recycled plastics market, which is currently quite limited. So, it would serve as a significant factor to spawn the installation of recycling infrastructure. One other important aspect is the interface between wastes to products which is a clear criterion to end wastes for plastic recyclates.

Plastics are essential for our daily lives; however, they create wastes that are hard to deal with and affect the environment. We must do more in the management of plastic wastes.

Jessica Chapman is a writing editor and essay writer at Essaymama from Chicago. She is into sport and politics, enjoy traveling and providing assignment writing service