insights from the story of plastic, a documentary about plastic and its origins and effects (thread)
“bio-PET” or “bioplastics” have the same carbon chain as conventional PET. they’re made from the same fossil fuels so they’re not biodegradable at all. they’re just like normal plastic
the only way to get massive scale conversions to go plastic free is through policy change.
without regulations, companies won’t do anything. they’re profiting from plastic because a lot of people use it. furthermore, it takes money to take responsibility for plastic waste. policy change is the way to go!
san fernando (philippines) is a zero waste city. it would spend 70 million pesos per year to collect waste and dump it in in the land full... but with the zero waste program, they only spend 12m, saving 58 million pesos.
world economic forum: 12% of plastics are downcycled (becomes worse than before) & 2% are effectively recycled (becomes useful again). unlike glass and metals, plastic degrades when they’re recycled before ending up in landfills.
what has dominated the narrative: ocean clean-ups, small scale recyclable programs, consumers being held responsible. this is akin to trying to bail out a bathtub with a spoon while the tap is at full blast. it doesn’t address the root of the problem, which is the producers!
communities who live near plastic incinerators and fossil fuel plants have higher rates of childhood leukemia, brain cancer, low birth weights or sterility, developmental issues, speech impediments, lack of motor skills, and more
“Every time time EPA’s watch list shrinks, air quality gets better because [the chemicals released in the plastic creation process] are not monitored. Out of 86,000 chemicals recognized in the US, only 187 are regulated for air pollution.”
polyester fibers from plastic, when degraded, get to the food we’re eating and are small enough to enter our lungs and the blood-brain barrier.
micro and macroplastics are increasingly found in FOOD, AIR, and WATER. recent studies from WHO have shown that there are plastic particles found in 83% of tap water samples globally, and 93% of bottled water.