TCoPS - 13

Across this lifecycle, the negative impacts of plastic
impose costs on governments and societies that are
far greater than the market cost of plastic. Some of
these negative impacts such as waste management, impose
direct economic costs, while others impose indirect costs,
placing a burden on societies and governments by impacting
the environment and human health. The durability of plastic,
while beneficial for many of its uses, means that these costs
will be incurred for long time periods. Plastic takes hundreds
to thousands of years to fully degrade and as it degrades,
it breaks down into smaller and smaller particles.46,47
This
makes plastic hard to recover and remove once it has entered
the environment. This sets the plastic crisis apart from other
materials that also impose costs not included in their price, as
they either degrade quicker (for example, paper) or are easier
to recover.
Costs induced by plastic not accounted for in the
market price, include:
● The cost of GHG emissions
● Health costs
● Waste management costs
● Mismanaged waste costs (see Figure 3).
While the links between the plastic lifecycle and
these externalities are well known, in some cases
a lack of data limits understanding of the extent of
those impacts. Within each cost dimension there are some
elements that are quantifiable and some that currently aren't
(see Table 1).
Leakage
Plastic production
Mechanical
recycling
Chemical
recycling
Post-use
Leakage
Landfill
Energy
recovery
Leakage
Product manufacturing
Reuse,
repair
Energy
Use
Leakage
13

TCoPS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of TCoPS

TCoPS - 1
TCoPS - 2
TCoPS - 3
TCoPS - 4
TCoPS - 5
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/annualreview2013
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/dalbergreport2013-de
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/dalbergreport2013-fr
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/dalbergreport2013
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwf_france/rapport_dactivite_2011-2012
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/wwfintl/annualreview2012
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