Rising living standards and population growth will push the use of raw materials to unprecedented levels in the coming decades, according to projections in a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Around 90 gigatons of raw materials are used each year across the globe, say the report’s authors. That is a lot of stuff — the total raw materials consumed by an average family in a day would fill up a bathtub, volumes that will only become larger between now and 2060. The quantities are set to almost double to 167 gigatons by 2060, as global population grows to almost 10 billion, the global economy quadruples and average incomes per capita rise to converge with current OECD levels of about $40,000 a year. This will place twice the pressure on the environment that we are seeing today, said the authors in a press release.
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