The Truth Behind Trash: the scale and impact of international trade in plastic waste – EIA report

Until the mid-1950s, plastics were precious commodities that were used and treated carefully. But in just 65 years, plastic production has increased by 18,300 per cent – fuelling a relentless convenience lifestyle that produces enormous and unnecessary quantities of waste.

The global trade in plastic waste has mirrored the growth in global plastic production, allowing high income, high-consuming countries to avoid the direct social and environmental impacts of their plastic problem and driving the ever-expanding production and consumption of virgin (new) plastics.