Before you do anything else, play a NYT plastics recycling game.

Plastics

PLASTICS

Plastic has a big carbon footprint, accounting for 4.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions and it is growing. Produced from chemicals sourced almost entirely from fossil fuels, plastic generates heat-trapping gases at every stage of their life cycle.  The problem begins with the extraction and transportation of fuels, refining, and manufacturing. They are all greenhouse-gas intensive. Plastics even emits traces of methane and ethylene when exposed to sunlight, and, when incinerated all the stored carbon in the plastic is released into the atmosphere, along with other air pollutants.

Plastic also doesn’t break down and is building up as waste in almost every corner of earth, from the great garbage patch to the human placenta.  Unsurprisingly, this is bad for human health. A 2023 report found that of the seven thousand chemicals linked to plastic material, about half are associated with adverse health effects. 

Microplastics seem to be everywhere. Everyday items like clothing, food packaging, cosmetics and car tires shed tiny particles of plastics, which in turn find their way into bloodbaby poopplacentas and breastmilk. According to recent research, plastics are even in the intricate, delicate tissue that makes up our lungs. And now, a new study published in the journal Physics of Fluids discovered that those plastics can get lodged into our airways and stay there over time. Therefore, while some plastics can be avoided through consumer choice, (which is challenging), even those living a “plastic-free” lifestyle, are exposed. 

Two chemicals of particular concern are phthalates and bisphenols. These can act as endocrine disrupters meaning they either mimic or disrupt hormones and their functions within the body. These chemicals have been linked to a wide variety of issues, including asthma, behavioral issues, and lower sperm counts in males. There is also mounting evidence of their links to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, a 2019 report from the Plastic Pollution Coalition stresses the fact that the effect of plastics on human health needs to be addressed at every stage of the plastic lifecycle, whereas current research lacks this holistic and nuanced approach.  

And because plastic doesn’t decay, it doesn’t ever stop polluting. The Guardian published an illustrated story about the 8.3 billion tons of plastic that was produced between 1950 and 2019 and where it went. 30% is still in use. The rest was disposed of in one of 3 ways: 79% to landfill, 12% incinerated, 9% recycled. Vast quantities of plastic waste are exported each year from high-income to low-income countries, where it accumulates in landfills, pollutes air and water, degrades vital ecosystems, befouls beaches and estuaries, and harms human health—environmental injustice on a global scale. Plastic-laden e-waste is particularly problematic.  A profound amount is ending up in the ocean, with an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastics entering the ocean yearly. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between Hawaii and California,  is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world. And, a recent study on microplastic pollution in the oceans has found that that problem has been grossly underestimated. 

In 2019, a study published in Nature found that the amount of plastic could triple by 2060 if we do nothing about it. Find a Plastic Footprint calculator here and 15 ways to shrink your footprint here

In May 2022, a report “The Real Truth About the U.S. Plastic Recycling Rate” documented a recycling rate of 5-6% for post-consumer plastic waste in the U.S. for 2021. Furthermore, the per capita generation of plastic waste has increased by 263% since 1980.

You might just join the reuse revolution and learn about 10 simple steps you can take to move closer to zero waste.

A reporter in California kept a diary of her plastic use.  It was soul crushing. You might just read that and nothing else.

Or you might watch a stunning Frontline documentary called Plastic Wars.

No more plastics. Period.


Below is an environment art installation by the Canadian artist Benjamin Von Wong – A viral creative focused on telling epic stories through his surreal photography and videography experiences. This is from the series #TurnOffThePlastic Tap

CURRENT NEWS

Hopes fade for production curbs in new global pact on plastic pollution

By Joe Lo 05/03/24
At the fourth – and penultimate – round of talks, negotiators did not agree to continue formal discussions on how to cut plastic production before a final session in the Korean city of Busan set…
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Global plastic pollution treaty talks hit critical stage in Canada

By Jennifer Mcdermott 04/24/24
Thousands of negotiators and observers representing most of the world’s nations are gathering in the Canadian city of Ottawa this week to craft a treaty to stop the rapidly escalating problem of plastic pollution.
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‘Currents bring life – and plastics’: animals of Galápagos live amid mounds of waste

By Karen McVeigh 04/23/24
As our small fishing boat slows to a halt in a shallow bay south-east of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, in the Galápagos Islands, a green turtle surfaces next to us, followed by a second, then…
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As plastic treaty talks open, countries more divided than ever

By Reuters 04/23/24
Countries are under pressure to make progress on a first-ever global plastics treaty this week, but they face tense negotiations in the Canadian capital with parties deeply divided over what the treaty should include as…
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Cap on plastic production remains contentious as Ottawa set to host treaty talks

By Mia Rabson 04/21/24
Negotiators from 176 countries will gather in downtown Ottawa this week for the fourth round of talks to create a global treaty to eliminate plastic waste(opens in a new tab) in less than 20 years.
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Recycled ideas

By Samantha Edwards 04/19/24
On the elevated High Line park in New York’s Meatpacking District, an older couple lingers around a hulking silver beast with five necks jutting out of its core. The man stands back and takes a…
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A world of plastic: A Chicago pastor’s Earth Day message

By Joseph Chamblain 04/18/24
About 20 years ago, Bob Greene, then a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, wrote a little book called Once Upon a Town. It was about a canteen that the citizens of North Platte, Nebraska, operated…
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Microplastics Journey from Gut to Vital Organs

04/15/24
Summary: A new study highlights the alarming infiltration of microplastics into human tissues, including the kidney, liver, and brain. The study investigates how these tiny particles, commonly ingested through water, food, and air, breach the…
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There’s an Explosion of Plastic Waste. Big Companies Say ‘We’ve Got This.’

By Hiroko Tabuchi 04/05/24
By 2025, Nestle promises not to use any plastic in its products that isn’t recyclable. By that same year, L’Oreal says all of its packaging will be “refillable, reusable, recyclable or compostable.” And by 2030,…
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So Much Produce Comes in Plastic. Is There a Better Way?

By Kim Severson 04/02/24
If it seems like plastic surrounds nearly every cucumber, apple and pepper in the produce aisle, it does. What began with cellophane in the 1930s picked up speed with the rise of plastic clamshells in…
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Israeli company transforming trash into new type of plastic eyes Massachusetts for recycling plant

By Erin Douglas 03/25/24
Strong school systems and a highly educated workforce can attract companies to Massachusetts, while a high cost of living and taxes can push them away. But one Israeli startup’s ambitions to build a new recycling…
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Gulf Coast Petrochemical Buildout Draws Billions in Tax Breaks Despite Pollution Violations

By Dylan Baddour 03/14/24
A booming petrochemical buildout on the Gulf Coast has drawn billions of dollars in public subsidies from state tax abatement programs despite regular violations of pollution permits, according to a new report released Thursday.
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KEY RESOURCES

Clamshell Packaging Market Outlook from 2024 to 2034

04/10/24
The clamshell packaging market is predicted to thrive at a sluggish CAGR of 3.0% from 2024 to 2034. Key forces anticipated to advance the global clamshell packaging market expansion include the food industry's sharp increase…

Plastic Pollution Facts

03/15/24
Plastic pollution is an urgent global crisis. Even if you don’t see discarded plastic in your community, tiny pieces of plastic have been found everywhere around the world, from the highest mountain peaks to the…

Fossils, Plastics, & Petrochemical Feedstocks

03/15/24
Plastics are produced from chemicals sourced almost entirely from fossil fuels. • Because fossil fuel production is highly localized, plastic production is also concentrated in specific regions where fossil fuel development is present, including, notably,…

A Guide to Plastic in the Ocean

02/27/24
Plastic is everywhere: In your home, your office, your school — and your ocean. Among the top 10 kinds of trash picked up during the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup were food wrappers, beverage bottles, grocery…

Global Plastic Laws is an extensive database and resource library focused on plastic legislation that has been passed around the world.

10/19/23
The database includes 9 topics covering the full life cycle of plastics along with key issue areas. Click to learn more about each.

Zero draft text of the international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment

09/04/23
United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolution 5/14 requested the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to convene an intergovernmental negotiating committee, to begin its work during the second half of 2022, with…

A Poison Like No Other: How Microplastics Corrupted Our Planet and Our Bodies Hardcover – October 27, 2022

10/28/22
It’s falling from the sky and in the air we breathe. It’s in our food, our clothes, and our homes. It’s microplastic and it’s everywhere—including our own bodies. Scientists are just beginning to discover how…

Beyond Plastics

09/07/22
Beyond Plastics is a nationwide project based at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, that pairs the wisdom and experience of environmental policy experts with the energy and creativity of college students to build a vibrant…

Plastic Proliferation Threatens the Climate on a Global Scale

05/02/22
The plastic pollution crisis that overwhelms our oceans is also a significant and growing threat to the Earth’s climate. At current levels, greenhouse gas emissions from the plastic lifecycle threaten the ability of the global…

Trash or Recycling? Why Plastic Keeps Us Guessing.

04/21/22
The universal symbol for recycling, known as the “chasing arrows” logo, is stamped on so many things. But that doesn’t mean they’re recyclable. Manufacturers can print the logo on just about any product. That’s because…

Alaska Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE-Alaska) Webinar

02/23/22
Plastics have become an everyday part of our lives, including the many unintended consequences of plastic production, use, and disposal. Chemicals added to plastics – to make them stronger, more flexible, or UV resistant –…

The fundamental links between climate change and marine plastic pollution

02/01/22
Plastic pollution and climate change have commonly been treated as two separate issues and sometimes are even seen as competing. Here we present an alternative view that these two issues are fundamentally linked. Primarily, we…

How do Microplastics Affect Our Health?

09/20/21
The use of plastic is one of the conveniences of modern life, but in recent years microplastic contamination has become an emerging global concern. Microplastics ––plastic particles measuring less than 5mm ––are everywhere ––from the…

Microplastics and human health

02/12/21
The ubiquity of microplastics in the global biosphere raises increasing concerns about their implications for human health. Recent evidence indicates that humans constantly inhale and ingest microplastics; however, whether these contaminants pose a substantial risk…

Plastics pose threat to human health

12/15/20
Plastics contain and leach hazardous chemicals, including endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that threaten human health. An authoritative new report, Plastics, EDCs, & Health, from the Endocrine Society and the IPEN (International Pollutants Elimination Network), presents a…

Breaking the Plastic Wave: Top Findings for Preventing Plastic Pollution

10/01/20
First-of-its-kind modeling analysis describes actions needed to stop plastic from entering the ocean.

BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag

03/28/20
New state and local laws permanently banning plastic bags will attempt to force a habit change among local consumers and retailers. According to Forbes, nearly 350 cities in 25 states now require the use of…

MacRebur: The Plastic Road Company

03/02/20
MacRebur’s mission is to help solve the waste plastic epidemic and the poor quality of roads we drive on around the world today. Our innovative solution involves processing waste plastics destined for landfill or incineration…

Plastic Footprint Calculator

02/22/20
If you are wondering what your yearly plastic consumption is, check out the plastic footprint calculator

A Detailed Review Study on Potential Effects of Microplastics and Additives of Concern on Human Health

02/13/20
The distribution and abundance of microplastics into the world are so extensive that many scientists use them as key indicators of the recent and contemporary period defining a new historical epoch: The Plasticene. However, the…

Drowning in plastic: Visualising the world’s addiction to plastic bottles

11/30/19
In a setback for environmental groups, California lawmakers early Saturday morning ended the 2019 legislative session without passing two bills that would have been the most ambitious effort in the nation to reduce the massive…

BBC Plastics Watch

11/30/19
Resources, education, and solutions all about plastic.

How plastics contribute to climate change

11/27/19
They generate heat-trapping gases at every stage of their life cycle.

Mapping the Flow of the World’s Plastic Waste

11/27/19
The first plastic material, Bakelite, was invented in 1907. It made its way into everything you can imagine: telephones, chess pieces, Chanel jewelry, and electric guitars.

Parley for the Oceans

11/14/19
Parley for the Oceans addresses major threats towards our oceans, the most important ecosystem of our planet. We believe the power for change lies in the hands of the consumer – given we all have a…

Report: Plastic Threatens Human Health at a Global Scale

02/20/19
A new report reveals that plastic is a human health crisis hiding in plain sight. Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet, authored by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Earthworks,…

Plastic & Health

02/01/19
Despite being one of the most pervasive materials on the planet, plastic and its impact on human health is poorly understood. Human exposure to it grows with increasing plastic production and use. Research into the…

A Whopping 91 Percent of Plastic Isn’t Recycled

12/20/18
Mass production of plastics, which began just six decades ago, has accelerated so rapidly that it has created 8.3 billion metric tons—most of it in disposable products that end up as trash. If that seems…

Public health impact of plastics: An overview

12/01/11
Plastic, one of the most preferred materials in today's industrial world is posing serious threat to environment and consumer's health in many direct and indirect ways. Exposure to harmful chemicals during manufacturing, leaching in the…

MORE NEWS

Why the oil and chemical lobby is taking aim at New York’s plastic waste bill

By Emily Sanders   03/05/24  
Last week at the New York State Capitol, more than 300 advocates joined lawmakers for a rally to urge the passage of a landmark waste reduction bill that proponents say is the best piece of…
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The Plastics Connection to Climate Change

02/27/24  
Plastics are everywhere in modern life. And since plastics are forever, the world’s seas are now littered with massive gyres of plastic waste — billions of tons of used food containers, water bottles, fishing gear,…
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Microplastics pervade human placentas, raising health alarms

By Damian Carrington   02/27/24  
Microplastics have been found in every human placenta tested in a study, leaving the researchers worried about the potential health impacts on developing foetuses. The scientists analysed 62 placental tissue samples and found the most…
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The Fraud of Plastic Recycling

By Davis Allen and others   02/21/24  
Underpinning the plastic waste crisis is a campaign of fraud and deception that fossil fuel and other petrochemical companies have created and perpetuated for decades.
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Reduce, reuse, redirect outrage: How plastic makers used recycling as a fig leaf

By Michael Copley   02/15/24  
The plastics industry has worked for decades to convince people and policymakers that recycling would keep waste out of landfills and the environment. Consumers sort their trash so plastic packaging can be repurposed, and local…
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The plastics industry would like a word with your kids

By Evan Halper   02/14/24  
Wearing a lab coat, Eve Vitale asked a chemistry class at Warren Mott High School if anyone had heard anything bad about plastics. Hands shot up. It doesn’t degrade, said one student. It hurts the…
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You eat, drink and breathe plastic. Can we stop?

By Alyssa Bradford   02/13/24  
Think of all the items that contain plastic. Maybe it’s a car, a water bottle or your phone. But did you think about the food you’ve eaten, the water you’re drinking or the air you…
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California’s war on plastic bag use seems to have backfired. Lawmakers are trying again

By Susanne Rust   02/12/24  
It was a decade ago when California became the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags, ushering in a wave of anti-plastic legislation from coast to coast.
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Mardi Gras beads are creating a plastic disaster in New Orleans. Are there green alternatives?

By Kevin McGill   02/11/24  
It’s a beloved century-old Carnival season tradition in New Orleans — masked riders on lavish floats fling strings of colorful beads or other trinkets to parade watchers clamoring with outstretched arms.
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Phoenix plastic recycling facility touted as the first of its kind

By Jeremy Duda   02/07/24  
A new microfactory in Phoenix will manufacture products from plastic waste it has collected and processed.
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Ditch that plastic container, study says. Plastics linked to thousands of preterm births.

By Eduardo Cuevas   02/06/24  
Chemicals commonly used for plastic in food containers, lotion and other products are linked to tens of thousands of preterm births in the U.S. each year, according to a new study. Those babies’ medical bills…
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USA: The Cost of Doing Business? The Petrochemical Industry’s Toxic Pollution in the USA

01/25/24  
This report shows the harms being suffered by local communities from pollution being emitted by the hundreds of fossil fuel and petrochemical plants sited along the Houston Ship Channel in Texas. The report documents the…
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Plastic bag bans work

01/17/24  
Well-designed single-use plastic bag bans have successfully reduced plastic bag use and associated litter and pollution. Use the Single-use Plastic Bag Ban Waste Reduction Calculator to estimate the impact where you live. Single-use plastic bags…
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Plastic chemicals linked to $249 billion in US health care costs in 2018 alone, study finds

By Sandee LaMotte   01/11/24  
By contributing to the development of chronic disease and death, a group of hormone-disruptive plastic chemicals is costing the US health care system billions — over $249 billion in 2018 alone, a new study found.
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Bottled Water Can Contain Hundreds of Thousands of Previously Uncounted Tiny Plastic Bits, Study Finds

By Kevin Krajick   01/08/24  
In recent years, there has been rising concern that tiny particles known as microplastics are showing up basically everywhere on Earth, from polar ice to soil, drinking water and food. Formed when plastics break down…
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Microplastics in Bottled Water at Least 10 Times Worse Than Once Thought

By Aryn Baker   01/08/24  
Bottled water has long been marketed as a safer alternative to what comes out of the tap—if it doesn’t come straight from a mountain spring, it’s at least purified and chemical free. But a new…
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Researchers discover thousands of nanoplastic bits in bottles of drinking water

By Corinne Purtill and Susanne Rust   01/08/24  
It seems anywhere scientists look for plastic, they find it: from the ice in Antarctica, to the first bowel movement produced by newborn babies.
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Here’s what you’re really swallowing when you drink bottled water

By Shannon Osaka   01/08/24  
People are swallowing hundreds of thousands of microscopic pieces of plastic each time they drink a liter of bottled water, scientists have shown — a revelation that could have profound implications for human health.
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At talks on cutting plastics pollution, plastic credits are on the table. What are they?

By Carlos Mureithi and Jennifer Mcdormett   11/18/23  
Two groups that want reduced plastics production published a report Friday highly critical of plastic credits, calling them a flawed tool that won’t help with worldwide pollution from the material.
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One solution to the plastic crisis may lie in bugs’ bellies

By Allyson Chiu   11/16/23  
One way to help tackle the growing plastic pollution problem could be all around us: microscopic bacteria and fungi.
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Is The World Getting One Step Closer To Actually Tackling Plastic Pollution?

By Aryn Baker   11/15/23  
More than 1,000 delegates from 175 countries are here in Nairobi this week to figure out what to do about trash. Plastic trash, that is. About 430 million tons of plastic are produced annually, two-thirds…
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Plastic Has Changed Sea Turtles Forever

By Katherine J. Wu   11/15/23  
As recently as the 1960s, perhaps later—within the life span of Tom Hanks, and within a few years of when the world was using its very first ATMs and contraceptive pills—nearly all of the planet’s…
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Dumped, Not Recycled? Electronic Tracking Raises Questions About Houston’s Drive to Repurpose a Full Range of Plastics

By James Bruggers   11/01/23  
The message on the signs at the recycling drop-off site here was clear, and warmly welcomed by area residents who visited on a recent autumn Saturday to stuff bags of plastic waste into large green…
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A new report calls chemical recycling a ‘dangerous deception’ — and a former plastic lobbyist agrees

By Joseph Winters   11/01/23  
As petrochemical companies continue to inundate the world with cheap plastic products and packaging — much of which is designed to be used once and then thrown away — they’ve been heavily promoting one solution…
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Patagonia just designed its warmest coat ever, and it’s made from trash

By Elizabeth Segran   10/24/23  
Every day, Costa Rica produces four tonnes of plastic waste and a fifth of it ends up in rivers and on beaches. To tackle this problem, a company called Bionic dispatches teams to collect the…
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Think that your plastic is being recycled? Think again.

By Douglas Main   10/12/23  
On a Saturday last summer, I kayaked up a Connecticut river from the coast, buoyed by the rising tide, to pick up trash with a group of locals. Blue herons and white egrets hunted in…
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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is finally getting cleaned up — but what’s happening to all that plastic?

By Abby Jackson   10/04/23  
A relatively uncharted island entirely made of trash, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an enigma. Still, reducing its size is an even bigger mystery.
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Microplastics Are Everywhere. What Are They Doing to Our Health?

By Sofia Quaglia   09/20/23  
Microplastics are everywhere. Everyday items like clothing, food packaging, cosmetics and car tires shed tiny particles of plastics, which in turn find their way into blood, baby poop, placentas and breastmilk. According to recent research,…
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Massachusetts to ban state agencies from purchasing single-use plastic bottles, Healey announces

By Sabrina Shankman   09/18/23  
In a typical year, Massachusetts’ state agencies buy roughly 100,000 plastic bottles — water, sodas, you name it. Like other plastic items, these bottles are made from fossil fuels and create climate-warming emissions both when…
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California’s plastic bag ban is failing. Here’s why

By Jessica Roy   08/24/23  
The goals of Senate Bill 270, the so-called plastic bag ban, spoke to the “three Rs” of waste reduction: Reduce the number of plastic bags Californians use, reuse the ones they receive, and recycle them…
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A reporter kept a diary of her plastic use. It was soul-crushing

By Susanne Rust   08/15/23  
Plastic is everywhere. It’s in our bodies: our lung tissue, our blood and in the dark, tarry first defecation of newborns. It’s been discovered in the deepest recesses of the ocean and in the snow…
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Update: Plastics industry critical of the EPA Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution

By Deanne Toto   08/02/23  
This past Earth Week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution for public comment. The draft strategy was released alongside a White House Interagency Policy Committee (IPC)…
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14 attorneys general urge EPA to bolster plastic pollution strategy

By Clark Mindock   08/02/23  
A group of 14 attorneys general have urged the Biden administration to adopt a more comprehensive strategy to reduce plastic pollution, which they say should include reducing new plastic production and addressing fast-fashion waste.
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Researchers Find Microfiber Plastic Pollution in Remote Region of Antarctica

By Danielle Letenyei   07/31/23  
Antarctica is probably the farthest from civilization that you can get. There aren't many people there, unless you count penguins, seals, and some researchers. But still, Antarctica somehow has plastic pollution.
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You’re probably recycling plastic wrong. And it’s not your fault.­­

By Robert Gebelhoff   07/31/23  
Picture this: You finish a drink from a red Solo cup, and before throwing it out, you check the bottom of the cup to see the iconic recycling symbol. That means it can be tossed…
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Barbie and the Problem With Plastic

By Noah Gordon   07/20/23  
As much of the world eagerly awaits the new Barbie film starring Margot Robbie, UN negotiators are trying to address the parts of our plastic world that aren’t so fantastic.
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Canada commits to advancing global environmental action

07/17/23  
Canada continues to demonstrate its commitment to addressing the global plastic pollution crisis. As part of its participation in negotiations towards the development of a historic and ambitious global agreement to end plastic pollution, Canada…
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New app helps young people turn tide on plastic pollution

07/17/23  
Beneath the picturesque turquoise waters of Trinidad and Tobago, plastic pollution is wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems. Every year, more than 88,600 tonnes of plastic waste is deposited into the ocean around the Caribbean nation,…
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Compostable Plastic Is Garbage

By Saahil Desai   07/06/23  
In 2023, the options for a build-your-own fast-casual lunch can include wild Alaskan salmon, harissa honey chicken, cauliflower shawarma, seasonal roasted zucchini, preserved lemon vinaigrette, za’atar bread crumbs, creamy vegan feta, and skhug. But whatever…
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Umbrellas made from found plastic? One Mass. entrepreneur is giving it a try

By Hannah Nguyen   06/23/23  
It was a not-so-pleasant experience with an old umbrella that inspired Deirdre Horan to create a new kind of umbrella. On her way to work in Boston in 2018, Horan’s umbrella flipped inside out and…
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The ‘Sisyphus of Trash’ Struggles to Clean Relentless Waves of Plastic From a New York Island’s Beaches

By Devin Speak   06/20/23  
In just three years, Michele Klimczak has picked, hauled, weighed, documented and sorted more than 32,000 pounds of garbage from the shores of Fishers Island, New York. She finds plastics stamped with product expiration dates…
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Uber Vows to Scrap ‘Unnecessary’ Plastic Waste From Deliveries

By Thomas Seal   06/08/23  
Uber Technologies Inc. pledged to eliminate carbon emissions and “unnecessary” plastic waste from its growing delivery business by 2040, bringing it in line with goals at its ride-hailing arm.
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Why glass, paper and other options aren’t the simple alternative to plastic that they seem to be

By Allyson Chiu   06/07/23  
The list of plastic substitutes seems to be growing longer by the day as companies come up with novel products such as cling wrap made from potato waste, seaweed-based food wrappers and cassava starch bags.…
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Plastic pollution and climate change: 3 leaders chart the path forward

By Eleni Kemene   06/05/23  
Global coordination is essential, as plastic use is projected to triple by 2060, requiring a 3% reduction in annual fossil plastic use to meet climate targets. On World Environment Day, 5 June 2023, it is…
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The global plastics treaty can fight climate change — if it reduces plastic production

By Joseph Winters   06/02/23  
During the second round of negotiations for a global plastics treaty in Paris this week, diplomats have clashed over competing priorities — including the role of recycling and how to address toxic chemicals. But some…
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Yikes: Biodegradable Plastic Doesn’t Actually Break Down in the Ocean

By Molly Taft   05/24/23  
It’s tempting to think of purchasing plastic cups labeled as compostable or using plastic cutlery made of biodegradable materials as a better choice for the environment—but there are a lot of complexities at play. A…
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Second Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution

05/22/23  
The second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-2) will take place from 29 May to 2 June 2023 at…
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UN Agency Provides Path to 80 Percent Reduction in Plastic Waste. Recycling Alone Won’t Cut It

By James Bruggers   05/17/23  
As delegates prepare to meet for a second negotiation on a global treaty to curtail plastic pollution, a pair of new reports from the United Nations Environment Program offers a roadmap of potential solutions to…
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Who Said Recycling Was Green? It Makes Microplastics By the Ton

By James Bruggers   05/16/23  
Research out of Scotland suggests that the chopping, shredding and washing of plastic in recycling facilities may turn as much as six to 13 percent of incoming waste into microplastics—tiny, toxic particles that are an…
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Yet Another Problem With Recycling: It Spews Microplastics

By Matt Simon   05/05/23  
The Plastic Industry has long hyped recycling, even though it is well aware that it’s been a failure. Worldwide, only 9 percent of plastic waste actually gets recycled. In the United States, the rate is…
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