Plastic pollution creates harmful environments, particularly in informal settlements. People living next to dump sites are exposed to many health risks associated with piles of mixed waste.
Ideally, all plastics would be recycled. However, communities such as informal settlements tend to have little to no infrastructure able to handle the collection and recycling of plastics. The cost is prohibitive to sort and transport plastic waste to distant recycling centers. As a result, the majority of plastic waste which isn’t burned ends up littering these communities piled in empty lots or dumped in rivers.