What are the causes of plastic pollution?
In the 1950s, plastic was a revolution. Today, it has become a problem.
From 1950 to 2015, plastic production increased from 1.5 to 322 million metric tons per year. It is estimated that a total of 9 billion metric tons has been produced since its invention, and that this production could triple again by 2050. However, only a very small proportion of this is recycled: around 9% today.
All the plastic waste that is not properly treated is the source of massive pollution, leading to widespread "plasticization" of the planet. From forests to rivers to oceans, all ecosystems are affected, with knock-on consequences for all living beings, including humans.
In addition to the collection and recycling solutions that we provide, the future of plastic also, and above all, involves reducing its use wherever possible, as well as developing alternative, biodegradable or more easily recyclable materials.
Legislation is changing: in the European Union, 90% of plastic bottles will have to be collected by 2029, while those on the market will have to contain at least 25% of recycled plastic by 2025.
What are the consequences of this plastic pollution?
While plastic pollutes all environments, there is one that is talked about more than the others: the oceans. And for good reason: this is generally where our plastic waste ends up. Once it is dumped on land, it flows into rivers and streams, which in turn spill it into the seas and oceans.
This plastic pollution in the oceans is easy to see by anyone on a beach. But ocean currents also create vortexes of waste in the middle of the oceans.
Under the action of the sun and the seawater, this plastic waste disintegrates into tiny pieces called microplastics.
These microplastics then impact all living things, from corals and plankton to fish and seabirds. They contaminate the entire food chain, including humans.
In addition to the risk of suffocation for the smallest species, plastic is toxic. Produced by petrochemicals, it contains endocrine disruptors. Microplastics also absorb other toxic substances: pesticides, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, etc., becoming vectors for these substances.
Our approach to fighting plastic pollution
We work daily to provide solutions to plastic pollution. Our plastic waste collection and recycling activities help limit the pollution the waste causes. We are part of a "new plastic economy" that must be as circular as possible, with easy access to recycling worldwide.
We are involved in recycling plastic waste. Our services cover the entire chain, from the collection of plastics to material regeneration. The granules produced are an alternative to virgin material for industrial manufacturers We currently apply our expertise to processing polyethylene (PE), used, for example, in furniture protection, and polypropylene (PP), used in the automotive sector.
Since 2018, we have also been a signatory of the global commitment to eradicate waste and plastic pollution at source, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme.
- Waste reduction
- A secondary raw material of the same quality as virgin material
- Reduced need for oil
- Reduced CO2 emissions
- Protection of the environment and biodiversity
The Veolia difference
We dit it!
In Rostock, we contribute to reducing the use of virgin raw materials and to protecting the environment by recycling used plastic bottles into new bottles for food use.