India is at the forefront of the countries that dump most of the plastic into the oceans

A recent report from packaging company Raja revealed the world’s biggest culprits who produce the most plastic. India was ranked the worst plastic waste country in the oceans in 2020, with around 126.5 million kg of plastic being disposed of annually. The weight of plastic waste dumped by India is equivalent to the weight of over 250,000 bottlenose dolphins, one of the most abundant species of dolphin in the ocean.

Although the US produces twice as much plastic waste annually (42 billion kg), only 2.4 million kg of it ends up in our oceans. This could be because the US is known to export its waste to other countries, including countries with poor waste management systems like India or places in Africa, as well as countries with good waste management systems.

In 2018, the Plastic Pollution Coalition reported that the United States had exported 157,000 shipping containers filled with plastic waste. This corresponded to around 1.07 million kg of plastic.

The plastic has been shipped to some high quality waste management countries such as Canada, South Korea and Taiwan. However, larger amounts of waste were also shipped to countries with poor waste management systems such as Malaysia, Thailand and India.

When big countries like the US ship their plastic waste overseas, they can claim it has been recycled. This fulfills the obligation of developed countries to make greater positive change for the environment.

Together, the five largest plastic rubbish dump trucks throw an astonishing 314 million kg of plastic into the sea each year.

Plastic pollution is destroying our marine life and ocean biodiversity, and countries with higher GDP tends to cause the most damage. Although plastic is a useful material and has many social functions, its long-lasting composition means that it takes much longer to break down. For example, plastic microspheres (a mostly globally banned element usually found in cosmetics) damage marine life and never become biodegradable, thus damaging the environment long after they are introduced into the water supply. They also contain toxic chemicals that can be ingested by fish and eventually get into the human supply chain.

Top 10

10 Great Britain: 703,000 kg of plastic

9 Japan: 1.8 million kg of plastic

8 USA: 2.4 million kg of plastic

7 Egypt: 2.5 million kg of plastic

6 Mexico: 3.5 million kg of plastic

5 Thailand: 22.8 million kg of plastic

4 Brazil: 38 million kg of plastic

3 Indonesia: 56.3 million kg of plastic

2. China: 70.7 million kg of plastic

1. India: 126.5 million kg of plastic

Visit Raja for details.

(Courtesy: Agencies)

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