Plastic Waste – Current Situation

Today we are living in the World together with an enormous amount of trash. Every year we produce 2.12 billion tons of waste globally. 99% of the stuff we buy is trashed within 6 months. 10-12 percent of the waste we dispose of is a plastic waste (around 300 million tons per year). To get rid of a piece of plastic, for example, a plastic bottle, we need 450 years, which means that even if we reduce or stop producing/using plastic in our everyday life, the amount of already disposed of plastic will stay with us for many generations.

“Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since < … > the early 1950s.”
July 19, 2017 Source: University of Georgia

“If you spread all of this plastic equally, ankle-deep, it would cover an area the size of Argentina.”
Roland Geyer (an industrial ecology professor and the study’s lead author), 2017

India currently produces 15 000 tonnes of plastic waste daily.”
Dr. John Orr (University of Cambridge lecturer and researcher in sustainable constructions), 2018

Photo credits: Arash Yaghmaeian – ‘Landfill Ballerina’

Types of Plastic

What happens to all this plastic?

China waste ban and European Single Plastic Ban

January 1st, 2018 was the day when China stopped importing waste from around the world including two-thirds of global annual plastic waste (around 7 million tonnes, according to South China Morning Post, 2018). “Since 1992, China has imported 106 million metric tons of plastic waste or 45 percent of all plastic waste.” (, 2018). The regulation states, that China “refuses to buy any recycled plastic scrap that wasn’t 99.5 percent pure” (, 2018) Even though “China recycled 85% of the 7m tonnes of plastic it imported in 2016 <…>” according to The Economist, 2018, during years China became the first country on the list of mismanaged plastic waste.

Following China’s waste ban and driven by the new challenge – what to do with our own trash – European Commission has suggested (on May 28, 2018) and on October 24th, 2018 finally agreed on new – Single Plastic Ban:

Plastic waste around the World

State of the Art (projects and technology)

Ecoalf – Spanish company, created in . . .

Diolen – . . .

People’s Pavilion by Bureau SLA and Overtreders W, 2017. The plastic tiles for People’s pavilion were made by Belgium based company – Govaplast. Specializing in locally made profiles from recycled plastics, Govaplast has already recycled   3,5 billion plastic bottles since 1995.

Cloud Village – Chinese pavilion at Venice Biennale 2018 – the project made out of recycled plastic to point out the situation happening in the Chinese countryside and attract visitors’ attention to the global problem of waste. Moreover, the pavilion was made by 3d printing recycled plastics with robotic fabrication.