I feel incredibly frustrated - often - at how difficult it is to do the right thing with our "trash". What do we do with used up batteries and lightbulbs, laptops that refuse to turn on, old mattresses and "pre-loved" clothing worn one too many times for the donation bin? How do we tell a "soft" plastic from a "hard plastic" with any certainty, and can a certain type of plastic even be recycled in our area at all? Does the "cardboard" almond milk container from the local shops have a hidden plastic lining, or can it go in the paper/cardboard recycling bin? And is it our responsibility as consumers to understand the detailed composition of materials in the things that we consume, so that we can "throw them away" correctly?
Somewhere in the range 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tonnes of plastic went into the ocean in 2010, according to a study. The international study calculated that a total of 275 million tonnes of plastic waste was produced by a 192 nations, and noted that population size and quality of waste management systems largely determine which countries contribute the most to the problem.