The latest UN Environment Programme (Unep) report named Turning off the Tap: How the world can end plastic pollution and create a circular economy suggests that plastic pollution from all over the world can be slashed by 80 per cent by the year 2040. As per the agency, while the changes required to reach the 80 per cent reduction mark may be major, they are also practical and affordable.The way we produce, use and dispose of plastics is polluting ecosystems, creating risks for human health and destabilising the climate. This report lays out a roadmap to dramatically reduce these risks through adopting a circular approach that keeps plastics out of ecosystems, out of our bodies and in the economy, said Inger Andersen, Uneps executive director in a statement about the report.As per the report, accelerating the market for reusable products instead of single-use products gives one of the biggest opportunities to reduce plastic pollution, potentially helping reduce 30 per cent by 2040. Another 20 per cent of pollution from plastics can be reduced by ensuring plastic recycling more actively. Additionally, replacing plastic with more sustainable alternatives can also help reduce plastic waste by 17 per cent.The suggested changes, the report says, can help reduce plastic pollution to 41 million metric tonnes (MMt), as opposed to a whopping 227 MMt in a business-as-usual scenario where no changes are applied. The changes, if implemented, will also increase the secondary plastics available to use to 80 MMt instead of 52 MMt in a business-as-usual scenario.Besides environmental benefits, reducing plastic waste and the changes suggested can also improve the global job market. The result would be more jobs specifically in developing countries. The number of total jobs globally, which stands at 7.2 million as of 2020, could grow to 12 million by 2040 as opposed to 11.3 million if the suggested changes were not put to use. As per an estimate in the report, cutting the pollution would additionally prevent financial damage valued at more than $3 trillion.There will still be a need for plastic, added Andersen. But we need to rethink where were using it and how were using it so that much more of it [is reused and recycled] and a lot less is merely single-use.Image used for representational purposes only.