The human race produces 3, 5 million tons of waste, and, if we don’t change our habits, this number may increase to 11 million by 2100 – writes a group of Canadian researchers in Nature magazine.
According to the article, the increase of garbage production is higher than that of other environment damaging factors, including greenhouse gases. The accumulation of garbage already has a huge effect on out planet, such as the giant garbage swirls in the ocean. According to scientists, we are on our way to triple the amount of waste we produce.
Developing countries, developing of littering
Today, the European and North American countries produce the most garbage. In these geographical areas, according to researchers, the amount of waste produced will top in 2050; as the rate of births slows down and new technologies are developed, the amount of garbage produced may decrease after this date. In some cities, this decreasing tendency could be starting earlier. For example in San Francisco, California, 55% of garbage is reused, and, according to the city’s plans, by 2020 all remaining garbage will be eliminated.
Littering is primarily a problem of urban areas. City dwellers produce twice or even four times more garbage than people living in the country. As urbanization is growing worldwide, by 2025 the amount of waste produced per day can reach 6 million tons, an amount that is enough to fill a 5000 kilometer convoy of garbage trucks.
The amount of garbage grows at the fastest rate in areas where there is an economical growth as well. In some landfills in China, Korea, Brazil and Mexico more than ten thousand tons of garbage land every day. According to the current prognosis, economy in South Asia, especially in India, will experience a fast growth around 2025. In African countries south of Sahara similar growth is expected around 2050.