Waste recovery is one of the largest challenges we have to face on our path towards a more circular economy, and packaging is the largest challenge facing waste recovery.
Science Advances, Production, Use, and Fate of All Plastics Ever Made, 2017
Philosophical Transactions B, Plastics Recycling: Challenges and Opportunities, 2009
We have created over 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic since we began mass-producing plastics in the 1950s. Of these 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. And of these 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic, only 9% has been recycled while 79% has ended up in our landfills and natural environment. If we don’t address this problem, by 2050 there will be over 12 billion metric tons of plastic polluting our landfills and natural environment.
EPA, Advancing Sustainable Materials Management Report, 2016