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                        救命!我们再次被塑料海洋“淹没”了

                        救命!我们再次被塑料海洋“淹没”了

                        Katherine Dunn 2020年08月24日
                        新冠疫情导致“限塑”努力倒退了数年。

                        一场新冠疫情亚博真人app,导致减少或禁止使用一次性塑料用品的努力倒退了数年亚博真人app,但不能简单责怪疫情期间外卖打包容器和一次性口罩使用增加亚博真人app。

                        8月17日亚博真人app,投行Jefferies的分析师在一份报告中指出,疫情引发了一系列变化:油价迅速下跌后原始塑料变得更便宜,废物管理公司和市政当局遭受亏损亚博真人app,加上地方禁令和限制措施的推迟,都会影响废除塑料垃圾的能力。

                        一份题为《塑料海洋》的报告指出,“禁令和相应税收倒退到疫情之前,物理和化学回收活动也减少。消费者因担心病毒传染亚博真人app亚博真人app,尽可能减少使用一次性塑料用品的意愿也降低?!?/p>

                        分析人士发现,最令人惊讶的事亚博真人app,普通人塑料用品消费可能并不是问题的根源所在亚博真人app。

                        Jefferies的分析师表示,餐饮外卖亚博真人app亚博真人app、超市狂欢式购物和一次性口罩确实产生大量塑料垃圾亚博真人app,但增量当中大部分(甚至全部)与疫情中其他领域塑料使用量降低抵消,例如工业和商业因为业务下降而减少了塑料使用。

                        报告还发现,美国个人防护装备的使用带来新一波塑料垃圾亚博真人app,防护装备主要由塑料纤维制成,不能回收利用。然而由于手术推迟和急诊病例减少,其他类型医疗垃圾有所减少,两方面基本可以相互抵消。

                        但宏观形势仍然令人担忧。疫情严重打击了收集处理塑料垃圾以回收利用的公司。尽管消费者普遍抵制塑料,政策制定者却暂时搁置了加大限制塑料使用的法律,毕竟当前面临的其他难题更紧迫。另一个难题就是如何提升回收塑料的经济可行性亚博真人app,特别是在疫情期间亚博真人app。

                        报告指出:“即使在发达国家亚博真人app,废物处理的标准也在下降。新冠疫情对废弃物处理领域,特别是回收行业造成了显著影响。企业受到诸多因素的冲击,包括人员限制、强制关闭、预算削减、严厉监管、低油价和需求下降等亚博真人app?!?/p>

                        石油价格大幅下跌,还有全球疫情爆发和紧接的全面封锁和金融?;?亚博真人app,都已经影响到航空旅行和工业活动。新生产的塑料,也称作“原始”塑料的价格随之下降,因为此类塑料的原料是随石油产品生产的石化产品。报告指出亚博真人app,由于回收塑料的成本固定,油价下跌时与新塑料相比回收塑料的成本更高,没有经济效益。石油和天然气公司又加大投资石化产品加工领域亚博真人app,可能加剧成本差距亚博真人app。

                        当地问题

                        新冠疫情不仅冲击了废物管理公司亚博真人app,还有雇用公司的城市和地区,废物收集也受到影响。美国的许多地区已经削减或取消了回收项目,尤其在中国和其他国家限制或禁止进口外国垃圾之后。

                        现在看来,种种趋势仍将持续。在公共财政受冲击后,垃圾回收项目变得十分脆弱亚博真人app,从回收商业垃圾向回收住宅垃圾的转变也对物流构成了挑战,而且人们担心回收项目可能传播病毒。报告指出亚博真人app,尽管欧盟新的废弃物税政策将严格限制使用一次性塑料,英国以及包括丹佛、安克雷奇等在内的美国城市却纷纷宣布减弱亚博真人app、推迟或直接暂?;厥障钅考苹?亚博真人app。塔吉特百货和全食超市等公司都在尽可能做出努力,限制或禁止一次性使用的杯子、袋子或其他商品。但是,考虑到当前的新现实,相关措施可能远远不够。

                        而且分析人士表示,大量刚使用过的个人防护用品不仅不可回收利用亚博真人app,还会污染废物亚博真人app,已经成为公共垃圾的主要来源。

                        限制塑料滞后的影响也十分明显。根据英国研究人员7月发布的一份联合研究报告,按照目前的“照?!彼俣?,到2040年,塑料进入全球海洋的速度将增至现在的三倍。(财富中文网)

                        译者:Feb

                        一场新冠疫情,导致减少或禁止使用一次性塑料用品的努力倒退了数年亚博真人app,但不能简单责怪疫情期间外卖打包容器和一次性口罩使用增加。

                        8月17日,投行Jefferies的分析师在一份报告中指出,疫情引发了一系列变化:油价迅速下跌后原始塑料变得更便宜,废物管理公司和市政当局遭受亏损亚博真人app,加上地方禁令和限制措施的推迟,都会影响废除塑料垃圾的能力。

                        一份题为《塑料海洋》的报告指出,“禁令和相应税收倒退到疫情之前,物理和化学回收活动也减少亚博真人app。消费者因担心病毒传染,尽可能减少使用一次性塑料用品的意愿也降低?!?/p>

                        分析人士发现,最令人惊讶的事亚博真人app,普通人塑料用品消费可能并不是问题的根源所在。

                        Jefferies的分析师表示,餐饮外卖、超市狂欢式购物和一次性口罩确实产生大量塑料垃圾,但增量当中大部分(甚至全部)与疫情中其他领域塑料使用量降低抵消,例如工业和商业因为业务下降而减少了塑料使用亚博真人app。

                        报告还发现,美国个人防护装备的使用带来新一波塑料垃圾亚博真人app,防护装备主要由塑料纤维制成,不能回收利用亚博真人app。然而由于手术推迟和急诊病例减少,其他类型医疗垃圾有所减少,两方面基本可以相互抵消亚博真人app。

                        但宏观形势仍然令人担忧亚博真人app。疫情严重打击了收集处理塑料垃圾以回收利用的公司亚博真人app。尽管消费者普遍抵制塑料,政策制定者却暂时搁置了加大限制塑料使用的法律,毕竟当前面临的其他难题更紧迫。另一个难题就是如何提升回收塑料的经济可行性,特别是在疫情期间亚博真人app。

                        报告指出:“即使在发达国家亚博真人app,废物处理的标准也在下降。新冠疫情对废弃物处理领域亚博真人app,特别是回收行业造成了显著影响。企业受到诸多因素的冲击亚博真人app,包括人员限制、强制关闭、预算削减亚博真人app、严厉监管、低油价和需求下降等⊙遣┱嫒薬pp!?/p>

                        石油价格大幅下跌,还有全球疫情爆发和紧接的全面封锁和金融?;?,都已经影响到航空旅行和工业活动。新生产的塑料亚博真人app,也称作“原始”塑料的价格随之下降,因为此类塑料的原料是随石油产品生产的石化产品。报告指出,由于回收塑料的成本固定,油价下跌时与新塑料相比回收塑料的成本更高,没有经济效益。石油和天然气公司又加大投资石化产品加工领域,可能加剧成本差距。

                        当地问题

                        新冠疫情不仅冲击了废物管理公司,还有雇用公司的城市和地区,废物收集也受到影响亚博真人app。美国的许多地区已经削减或取消了回收项目,尤其在中国和其他国家限制或禁止进口外国垃圾之后。

                        现在看来,种种趋势仍将持续。在公共财政受冲击后亚博真人app,垃圾回收项目变得十分脆弱亚博真人app,从回收商业垃圾向回收住宅垃圾的转变也对物流构成了挑战亚博真人app亚博真人app,而且人们担心回收项目可能传播病毒。报告指出亚博真人app,尽管欧盟新的废弃物税政策将严格限制使用一次性塑料亚博真人app,英国以及包括丹佛亚博真人app、安克雷奇等在内的美国城市却纷纷宣布减弱、推迟或直接暂?;厥障钅考苹遣┱嫒薬pp亚博真人app。塔吉特百货和全食超市等公司都在尽可能做出努力,限制或禁止一次性使用的杯子、袋子或其他商品。但是亚博真人app,考虑到当前的新现实,相关措施可能远远不够。

                        而且分析人士表示亚博真人app,大量刚使用过的个人防护用品不仅不可回收利用,还会污染废物,已经成为公共垃圾的主要来源。

                        限制塑料滞后的影响也十分明显。根据英国研究人员7月发布的一份联合研究报告亚博真人app,按照目前的“照?!彼俣?,到2040年亚博真人app,塑料进入全球海洋的速度将增至现在的三倍亚博真人app。(财富中文网)

                        译者:Feb

                        The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed efforts to reduce or ban single-use plastics back by years—and the culprit isn't simply due to a rise in takeaway containers and disposable face masks.

                        A whole host of shifts, from the rapid fall in oil prices—making "virgin" plastics cheaper—to the economic toll on waste management companies and municipalities, to delays in local bans and restrictions, are expected to limit our collective ability to abolish plastic waste, Jefferies analysts said in a report on Augst 17.

                        "Bans and taxes have been rolled back, physical and chemical recycling activity has decreased, and virus concerns may have reduced consumers' desire to minimize consumption of single-use plastics," the report, entitled "Drowning in Plastics," said.

                        The most surprising twist, the analysts found, may be that our own plastic consumption isn't the root of the problem.

                        While take-away meals, supermarket binge shopping, and disposable face masks have all produced new gluts of plastic waste, that increase has been mostly (if not entirely) offset by the economic hits elsewhere from the pandemic: declines in plastic use for the industrial and commercial businesses that have seen business decline, Jefferies analysts said.

                        In the U.S., even the fresh wave of PPE—which is made of plastic fibres, and cannot be recycled—has likely so far been offset by the decline in other kinds of medical waste, the report found, as surgeries were delayed, and emergency visits fell.

                        But the bigger picture is more worrying. The pandemic is hitting hard the firms that collect and process plastics for recycling. And laws expanding restrictions on plastic use are being moth-balled by policymakers whose attention is needed elsewhere—this, despite a widespread consumer backlash against such waste. And then there's the riddle of making recycling plastic an economically feasible activity, particularly during a pandemic.

                        "Even in the developed world, standards of waste treatment have gone down, with COVID-19 significantly affecting the waste services sector, and particularly the recycling industry," the report said. "Companies have been hit by a myriad of factors including staffing limitations, forced closures, budget cuts, unfavorable regulations, low oil prices, and lower demand."

                        The steep drop in oil prices, as the pandemic and ensuing lockdown and financial crises have cut into air travel and industrial activity, has also made newly made, or "virgin", plastic cheaper, as their base are the petrochemicals produced with oil products. Because recycled plastics' costs are fixed, they get no financial benefit when oil prices fall, and so are more expensive in comparison to fresh plastic, the report noted. Steep investment in petrochemicals processing by oil and gas companies is likely to only make that dichotomy more extreme.

                        A local issue

                        The strains of the pandemic have hit not just the waste management companies, but also the cities and regions who employ them, including in collection. Many regions in the U.S. were already cutting or eliminating recycling programs, particularly after China and other countries restricted or banned imports of foreign waste.

                        That trend now looks set to continue. The impact on public finances has made recycling programs vulnerable, while the shift from commercial to residential waste has challenged collection logistics, alongside worries that collection programs could spread the virus. While the EU's new waste tax policy will sharply restrict single-use plastics, cuts, delays or outright suspensions to recycling collection programs have been announced in the U.K., as well as U.S. cities from Denver to Anchorage, the report noted. Companies including Target and Whole Foods are trying t do their part, restricting or banning reusable cups, bags or other goods. But, given the new reality, such gestures may come up far short of what's needed.

                        Meanwhile, fresh gluts of PPE are not only not recyclable, but have been tainting waste collection, and have become a significant source of public litter, the analysts said.

                        The delayed momentum to restrict plastic has clear implications. According to a joint study from U.K. researchers released in July, at current "business as usual" rates, the pace of plastic entering the world's oceans will triple by 2040.

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