This Chart Highlights the Origins and Destinations of Plastic Waste

The presence of plastic waste is among the biggest challenges facing the world because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up creating waste that will never break down. Our World in Data compiled information from various sources into a chart that outlines where plastic waste comes from as well as where it usually ends up with all things having been considered and taken into account.

The first thing that stands out in this chart is that over 350 million tons of plastic waste are produced each and every year. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that a lot of this waste simply ends up in landfills which makes it more likely to cause pollution than might have been the case otherwise.

By far the most significant exporter of plastic waste is Germany, with the European nation producing an estimated 853 million kilograms of plastic waste on an annual basis. Coming in at a close second is Japan with a little over 820 million, followed by the US with 624 million. Every single country in the top ten list save for Japan is part of the Western Hemisphere, with 8 out of the 10 nations hailing from the continent of Europe.

In spite of the fact that this is the case, the list of countries that import the most plastic waste features far more Asian nations. At the top of this list is Malaysia which imports an estimated 715 million kilograms of plastic waste annually, followed by Turkiye at just under 620 million kilograms. Germany comes in third with 567 million kilograms, although this is still a massive shortfall from the waste they export

East and Southeast Asian nations often have to deal with the plastic waste produced by more developed countries. That can create a huge problem, since the countries that are responsible for this waste are often the least likely to have to deal with it and that can create a massive imbalance around the world.

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