The problem with plastic

Aug 25, 2019

In his op-ed, which shared his thoughts about plastic, Greg Kozera concedes that our country and our world have a lot of problems, but use of plastics is not one of them. According to Mr. Kozera, this is because plastic has many practical applications and plastic waste can be collected and made into useful products. Mr. Kozera has either chosen to ignore the fact or is unaware that 99 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming is real and mostly caused by human use of fossil fuels. The manufacture and use of plastics is a large part of the problem.

According to a report issued in October 2018 by the International Energy Agency, the main driver of the petrochemical industry’s growing climate footprint will be plastics. Plastic chemicals absorb into the body, 96 percent of Americans 6 and older test positive for BPAs, an industrial chemical used since the 1960s to make certain plastics and resins. Because of this and the environmental damage they cause, plastic bottles and plastic shopping bags have been banned in many cities and countries across the globe. Bamboo and hemp are viable alternatives.

It is not surprising that the director of marketing and sales for shale gas companies would put corporate profits before people and the planet. He also implies that “anti-plastic folks” who are willing to use plastic cell phones, solar panels and other plastic products in their daily lives are against plastic being used in modern medical products and equipment. The reality is that most “antis” would argue that plastic, which is made from a finite product (fossil fuels), should be made only for use in critically important items and not as single-use plastic items such as water bottles, coffee cups, straws, cutlery and shopping bags. It is simple enough to replace these most offending plastic items in our daily lives without a lot of time and effort involved. Also it feels empowering to refuse plastic bags at the stores. There is already too much plastic out there. Collecting plastic waste would help clean the environment but let’s strive for less global warming by not polluting in the first place. Seek non plastic alternatives. Everyone should be as much a part of the solution as possible. Reducing and recycling are the strongest weapons against environmental damage. The planet and your health depend on it.

Giulia Mannarino