塑料废物的污点

纽瓦克,新泽西—塑料在生活中随处可见。不管是被用于盛装废物、保持医院设备无菌状态,还是用于房屋隔热,塑料都以其可塑性、耐久性和低成本拥有无可比拟的优势。塑料的好处无穷尽,因此毫不奇怪,它取代诸多部门的传统材料——比如用于汽车的钢材、用于包装的纸材和玻璃、用于家具的木头等。结果,全世界塑料的年消费量从20世纪50年代的500万吨增加到今天的2.8亿吨。

大约一半的塑料制品——比如包装盒——是一次性用品,其使用前保质期很短(不到半年)。这些东西大多不可生物降解,也不可回收,因此塑料废物激增,带来了严重的环境后果。尽管政府已开始实施新的(通常相当严格)旨在治理塑料废物的监管——比如中国在2008年开始禁止使用轻质塑料购物袋——但并不足以解决越来越严重的塑料废物问题。

此外,大部分塑料制品源自所谓的“基于石油的商品热塑性塑料”。由于许多塑料制品——大部分使用时间很短——来自不可再生资源,当前的塑料使用模式是不可持续的。

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