The world produces around 360 million metric tonnes of plastic each year. Around half of this is for packaging, much of which is discarded shortly after use. Many recyclable plastics can only be recycled a few times because the material eventually breaks down and most of the waste ends up in landfill sites.
However, a proportion of this waste, possibly up to a third of it, is improperly managed. This means that it is littered or not properly contained within landfill. Mismanaged plastic waste is largely responsible for the 8 million tonnes or so of plastic waste that flows into our oceans each year.
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