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Impact

Takeaway packaging accounts for 44% of all plastic waste in the ocean

© MEL CHIPFAKACHA ON UNSPLASH

Our environment has been under attack for a very long time. An especially serious problem is the single-use plastic waste we have been dumping in the oceans. According to a recent study conducted by the University of Cadiz in Spain, food delivery packaging make up around 44% of all plastic waste in our oceans.

Marine litter mostly made of plastic

“It was not surprising to us that around 80% of the waste is plastic, but we did not expect the high proportion of takeaway items. Legislators must ensure that the flow of waste into the oceans dries up instead of just cleaning the ocean,” the Guardian study director Carmen Morales-Caselles quoted  as saying. Her team has analyzed more than 12 million plastic data points from 36 databases. Rivers and coasts are also affected by this pollutant.

According to the study, only 10 products account for around three quarters of the world’s waste, eight of which are made of plastic like plastic bags and bottles. Food containers come third, followed by plastic fishing equipment. Glass bottles and cans are the most common non-plastic waste, but they come nowhere near the same frequency.

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Measures

Researchers recommend a ban on certain products. According to the Guardian, they welcome the measures against plastic straws and cotton swabs in Europe. Such bans have also taken effect in the UK. However, this also distracts from the real polluters. According to the survey, straws only make up 2.3% and cotton swabs – only 0.16% of plastic waste. 

Researchers recommend the following steps to combat plastic waste from food delivery services:

  • Suppliers should switch to biodegradable materials for packaging;
  •  A ban on unnecessary plastic in deliveries;
  • A deposit on takeaway boxes, encouraging consumers to return them.

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