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Uganda: The Possibilities of a ‘Fast Plastics’ Concept

POSTED: 13th Sep

When fashion brand, Zara arrived in New York at the beginning of 1990, the New York Times coined the term "fast fashion" to describe the brand's assertion that it would only take 15 days for a product to go from design to shelf. Allegedly the brand uses the same principle today: make speed and low cost a driving force. Equally has become disposal. Today, 39,000 tons of discarded fast fashion are being left in dumps in Chile's Atacama, and an estimated 60% of a 65 feet pile in a landfill on the outskirts of Accra, Ghana.

Comparatively, global plastic production, consumption, and waste generation are all increasing quickly; such that production doubled to 460 million tonnes between 2000 & 2019, representing a 100% increase. Plastic consumption has as well quadrupled over the past 30 years, representing an increase of more than 200% from 2000 to 2019 (OECD figures).

Global plastic waste generation more than doubled from 2000 to 2019 to 353 million tonnes, representing a 100% increase over that period. Amid this, Africa and Asia will experience the fastest growth, though OECD nations will still produce significantly more plastic waste per person (238 kg annually on average) than non-OECD nations (77 kg).

Let's exemplify with a popular plastic brand. Coca-Cola revealed that it produces 3 million tonnes of plastic packaging a year, which is equivalent to 200,000 bottles a minute. This translated into about 108 billion 500ml PET plastic bottles per year, which is more than a fifth of the world's total output of 500 billion bottles per year. Further, in six developing countries alone, Coca-Cola was found to be responsible for half a million tonnes of plastic pollution each year.

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