New report finds plastic production and use could have the equivalent impact of nearly 300 new coal power plants on Earth’s climate over the next decade.
Plastic is polluting oceans, freshwater lakes and rivers, food and us — but it’s also a major contributor to global climate change, warns a new report.
Scientists, policymakers and consumers are increasingly aware of the threat plastic pollution poses to oceans and water, wildlife, food and people. However, often lost in calculating plastics’ environmental harm is its contributions to climate change.
“I don’t feel the petrochemical buildout is being considered as part of climate change discussions at any level in our state [Pennsylvania],” Michele Fetting, program manager at the Breathe Project, a coalition of 24 environmental organizations, told EHN.
Petrochemical facilities, such as cracker plants, take fuels like natural gas and convert them to chemical products, which are most often used to make plastics. Shell is building a massive petrochemical complex in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, as part of a broader effort to put such facilities in multiple spots along the Ohio River Valley.
Each step in the life of a piece of plastic — production, transportation and managing waste — uses fossil fuels and emits greenhouse gases and, as petrochemical and plastic production continues to ramp up, these impacts must be considered, according to the report released today by the Center for International Environmental Law, the Environmental Integrity Project, FracTracker Alliance, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, 5Gyres, and #BreakFreeFromPlastic. MORE