Last year, China announced it will no longer be importing plastic waste into the country and as new analysis shows, that’s a huge problem for the rest of the world.
From 1988 to 2016, China imported 171 million metric tons of this surprisingly valuable commodity. With a total trade value of $81 billion, that’s 72% of all imported plastic waste over this time period.
Despite a big push recently from some governments to reduce consumption, the scale of the world’s plastic waste is huge and will remain so for some time.
Until this changes, a lot of countries will have to make new plans for their disposal or, alternatively, make plans to fill the massive void in the market that's been left by China.
This article and chart originally appeared on the blog of statistics firm Statista, and is republished here with permission.