Who is bottling plastic waste pollution? by Jamie Kettle

This visualisation explores which countries in 2010 produced the largest amount of plastic waste and what percentage of this was inadequately managed, but more importantly how does this management correlate to the nation’s GDP per capita?

On the left side, we see the distribution of total plastic waste generation by continent, leading into segregation by country, measured in ascending order of tonnes per year. This takes account of per capita waste generation and population size.

This leads into the estimated total percentage of this waste that was inadequately disposed of, including disposal in dumps or open, uncontrolled landfills; meaning that the material is not fully contained and can be lost to the surrounding environment. This makes it at a risk of leakage to the natural environment into oceans via waterways, winds and tides.

Finally, these findings are presented with the caveat of the individual country’s GDP per capita, which provides a basic insight into national wealth and infrastructure, both of which could have a significant bearing on waste management.