Vatican Moves to Cut Down on Plastic Waste

Tags: Currents Environment, Faith, Inspiration, Laudato Si, Pope Francis, Recycling, Vatican, World News

Currents News Staff

As the smallest state in the world, the Vatican produces 1,000 tons of trash every year.

Meanwhile, according to the European Union, world plastic production has gone from 1.5 million tons in 1950 to 322 million tons in 2015.

That same year, Pope Francis published his Encyclical on the Environment, Laudato si. 

Now, the Vatican City State is following his written words: “Education can encourage ways

of acting which directly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic.”

The effort within the smallest country in the  world is being organized by Rafael Tornini. He explains the goal is to eliminate all plastic that cannot be recycled and differentiate between the rest of the trash.

“We seek to follow the Holy Father’s words in Laudato si; that to rebuild or safeguard the common home, and we must reuse or recycle waste, maximizing their efficient use,” said Rafael. 

“What we are trying to do is stop the sales of single-use plastics. That means cups, plates, straws, and anything that’s not recyclable,” he explained. 

With the rest of the recyclable plastic remaining in the Vatican City State, it will go in their Ecological Island, which was created in 2016.

This storage point for recyclable waste within the Vatican Gardens helps ensure plastic is reused to make other products.

In the United States, 35 billion plastic bottles are trashed each year, with only a quarter going to recycling. The amount of plastic waste Americans produce is enough to circle planet Earth four times.