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Global plastic materials flow 1950-2017

As of 2017, approximately 9.2 billion metric tons of plastic had been produced worldwide since 1950. Of this amount, five billion metric tons ended up as waste.

Plastic waste is becoming a major issue worldwide. When plastics are not recycled they often end up in oceans, causing devastating environmental pollution.

Flow of plastic materials worldwide between 1950 and 2017 (in million metric tons)*

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Release date

October 2019



Survey time period

1950 to 2017

Supplementary notes

**Of this amount, half is recycled again * Includes polymer resins, synthetic fibers, and additives.

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Statistics on "Plastic waste in Europe"

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