Item Link: Access the Resource
Media Type: News / Op - Ed
Date of Publication: July 9, 2019
Author(s): Christopher Joyce
Plastic waste gets a lot of attention when photos of dead whales with stomachs full of plastic bags hit the news. Pieces of plastic also litter cities, and tiny plastic particles are even floating in the air.
Largely overlooked is how making plastic in the first place affects the environment, especially global warming. Plastic actually has a big carbon footprint, but so do many of the alternatives to plastic. And that’s what makes replacing plastic a problem without a clear solution.
Plastic is just a form of fossil fuel. Your plastic water bottle, your grocery bag, your foam tray full of cucumbers … they’re all made from oil or natural gas. It takes lots of energy to make that happen.
“The real story of plastics’ impact on the environment begins at the wellheads where it comes out of the ground,” says Carroll Muffett, head of the Center for International Environmental Law. “And it never, ever stops.”
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