Can we move on from plastic?
Author: Lily Hess
There is growing awareness of the issue of plastic pollution around the world. Yet society’s dependence on it is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. The U.N. Environment Programme estimates that plastic waste could double by 2030, and it has been repod that fossil fuel companies plan to use plastic production to buffer their losses as countries increasingly switch to using renewable energy. But there are ways to prevent this. Most experts interviewed in this article stated that the most direct and effective way to cut down on plastic-related greenhouse gas emissions was to use less plastic overall, especially single-use packaging. The caveat, though, is that this is often difficult and expensive, and in some cases alternative materials can actually have a higher environmental cost. “A lot of people are working hard to reduce plastic in their own consumer purchases, but that’s really hard,” says Judith Enck, the president of Beyond Plastic. “I mean, I try to avoid plastic, and I can’t avoid it entirely. Any supermarket in the world is loaded with plastics.”