import vs consume


Senior Member
Hi guys. When dealing with exercise, I encountered one question. :)

These are two sentences in the passage about 'plastic'.

Almost all the 50 or so different kinds of modern plastic are made from oil, gas or coal – non-renewable natural resources. We (4)_______ well over three million tones of the stuff in Britain each year and, sooner or later, most of it is thrown away.

A. import
B. consign
C. remove
D. consume

Well, I think we can reject easily both B and C. Between A and D, I chose D. I chose at random. :D Am I right? :) Please help me out. Thank you in advance :)
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  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I suppose a society might consume plastic, but humans don't -- nor does the environment -- so I don't care for that. And I don't see import being correct because there's no indication whether the plastic is domestic or foreign.

    Personally, I would use "use." But I guess if I had to choose one of the four, it would be consume.


    Senior Member
    :) Tks for your reply. :)

    Do you want me to add much context? :D This is the next sentence. :)

    A high proportion of our annual consumption is in the form of packaging, and this constitutes about seven per cent by weight of our domestic refuse.

    I see this has both 'comsumption' and 'domestic'. :( So I am confused. :(


    Senior Member
    Hi gangstergirl.

    I see both alternatives as possible, but I think 'import' is the more unlikely choice since there should be, in Britain, producers of modern plastic, and why wouldn't their plastic be taken into account?

    (If there happens to be a preceding text, I'd suppose the definite answer could be inferred from it.)

    Edit: Cross-posted with Copyright.
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    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Domestic refuse" means refuse from households, as opposed to industry and commerce.So nothing to do with "not imported".
    Choice A import is not possible because we don't easily say "We Britain each year". It would be "Britain imports...."


    Senior Member
    American English
    Import makes grammatical sense ... but you have no way of knowing whether the plastic being used in Britain is produced domestically or overseas, so I think you can consider this another useless quiz question ... especially since the major points -- that plastic is made from non-renewable energy sources and is then thrown away -- has nothing to do with its country of origin.


    Senior Member
    This country consumes perfume a lot.

    So, does it make no sense at all?

    Actually, I don't want to choose "import" or "consume" because they have different meanings. I just want to learn whether we can say a country "consumes" something. Or should I prefer "use" or another word instead? Thanks.