Only nine percent of plastic is recycled worldwide, OECD says

Plastic is scattered across the beach in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo: AFP)

Less than 10 percent of plastics used across the world are recycled, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) said, as it called for "co-ordinated and global solutions" ahead of expected talks of an international plastics treaty.

The report discovered that 460 million tonnes of plastics were used in 2019, a number which has nearly doubled since 2000. The amount of plastic waste has grown at the same pace, reaching 353 million tonnes.

"After taking into account losses during recycling, only nine percent of plastic waste was ultimately recycled, while 19 percent was incinerated and almost 50 percent went to sanitary landfills," the Paris-based organization said in its Global Plastics Outlook.

"The remaining 22 percent was disposed of in uncontrolled dumpsites, burned in open pits or leaked into the environment."