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silentorange813 t1_j8rbx97 wrote

Can confirm that the Philippines has nightmarish levels of trash floating along the coast. The worst sighting was in eastern Mindanao where you couldn't see the water due to water bottles on the surface.


Darwins_Dog t1_j8roldn wrote

The graph makes it look like they put more plastic in the oceans than they produce. Are they dumping trash for other countries?


AlwaysUpvotesScience t1_j8rqxe3 wrote

Yup, they import a lot of plastic goods. China and the US produce most of the plastic in the world but most of it is not disposed of in those countries, its exported.


_AlreadyTaken_ t1_j8ryir4 wrote

Those plastics are mostly exported as part of products, not waste.


AlwaysUpvotesScience t1_j8s5mln wrote

Correct, the US/China export goods and they get disposed of in other countries.

Not sure how that was unclear.


vlsdo t1_j8t2odw wrote

Sort of, they're exported mostly as packaging and other short term uses. I keep track of my plastic waste and it's at least 90% packaging, if not more, and that's with me being conscious and trying to reduce it.


Bndsfn2004 t1_j8tvfmd wrote

>Those plastics are mostly exported as part of products

Which eventually becomes...


Altruistic-Tomato-66 t1_j8w3t6y wrote

> China and the US.

Not exactly. China, then Germany, then the US. But China produces more than the US, Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Netherlands, and Japan combined. Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of plastic items during 2021.

China: US$35.5 billion (34.3% of exported plastic items)

Germany: $11.4 billion (11%)

United States: $7.8 billion (7.5%)

Italy: $3.7 billion (3.5%)

France: $3.4 billion (3.3%)

Poland: $3.1 billion (3%)

Netherlands: $2.77 billion (2.7%)

Japan: $2.4 billion (2.3%)

Mexico: $2.3 billion (2.2%)

Czech Republic: $2.18 billion (2.1%)

Taiwan: $2.13 billion (2.1%)

Hong Kong: $1.9 billion (1.8%)

South Korea: $1.73 billion (1.7%)

Belgium: $1.69 billion (1.6%)

Vietnam: $1.63 billion (1.6%)


AlwaysUpvotesScience t1_j8wajr9 wrote

That's value, not tons


Altruistic-Tomato-66 t1_j8wrdh0 wrote

I think we can assume tonnage directly correlates to value, so much so that the positions of countries would very closely mirror the order above. Of course if you have source for tonnage, why not share it?


jmlinden7 t1_j8t1c1f wrote

You're misreading it. The total plastic waste circle and the plastic waste into oceans circle have different scales, so even though the total plastic waste circle is smaller for the philippines, it's still about 1 million tonnes while the plastic waste into oceans circle is amount 500k tonnes.


silentorange813 t1_j8rrrfo wrote

They do import waste. That's true. But a lot of locals have zero environmental awareness and treat the ocean as a garbage can.


brushclub t1_jacss2l wrote

it's always important to educate those with little awareness! only way we can make an impact


ryanasmith94 t1_j8rtjwg wrote

And having been born in a place that a system they do not control has decided is the world's plastic dump might have something to do with that?

Hard to blame the locals lack of environmental awareness when the evidence of global systemic failure is staring you in the face but you managed lol


Breaker-of-circles t1_j8rueyl wrote


Rich countries with their more advanced tech can't recycle their own shit so they send it to poor countries, then pretend they're clean and make charts like this.

Recycling is pretty much a scam outside of metals.


_AlreadyTaken_ t1_j8rypo1 wrote

Regions mainly trade waste within regions. The Philippines waste is mainly from Asian countries such as Japan.


jbcmh81 t1_j8schh8 wrote

Is the Philippines forced to take anyone else's trash, though?


vlsdo t1_j8t397w wrote

No, they do it because there's money to be made from it. In a sense, you could say they're forced into it by the global economy, although it's more like an emergent behavior in response to economic factors rather than true coercion.


jbcmh81 t1_j8te4qg wrote

This seems like an issue with their government then.


vlsdo t1_j8texpv wrote

And the governments of all the countries that export their plastics with full knowledge they're ending up in the ocean


jbcmh81 t1_j8u8dgu wrote

I'm not absolving them, but plenty of nations get trash and it doesn't end up in the ocean to anywhere near the degree that it does in the Philippines. So they should be taking only what they can actually process. Again, they're under no obligation to take anything at all.


silentorange813 t1_j8rwrvf wrote

People had low awareness prior to trash being imported, and thus I don't see a cause and effect relationship there. In addition, the level of waste differs widely by island and village. The variation in regulations and education likely play a large role.


Confused-Raccoon t1_j8s7xlm wrote

They also import a shitton of our "recycling" too. Which is then driven out into the country side and burnt on the side of the road.

Because it's cheaper than actually sorting and recycling it.


Rraen_ t1_j8vjdll wrote

It's important to note also that very small island nations cannot have large scale landfills or recycling plants for obvious reasons. They have to ship their waste off island, this is expensive, pretty obvious why people dump a lot in the ocean


virgocatlady t1_j8vjg8k wrote

That's so sad. Felt heartbroken to hear about that kind of scenario, poor aquatic animals.