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Behind the story of plastic, there is a huge scam
Time: 2020-5-9 13:18:36 Source:绿凯思科GETRECYCLING Author:GET营销中心 Hits:4

The story of plastic

Jointly produced by break free from plastic & the story of stuff

When enterprises and media are cheering for plastic, which is known as the "biggest innovation of the times", people also feel the unprecedented convenience that plastic brings to people's life. Plastic naturally enters people's life from this point of view, and it overflows into people's daily life.

"But not many people care, where does plastic come from?" Asked Zoe.

Screenshot of the story of plastic in Indonesia

99% of plastic is made of fossil fuels. So there's no doubt that the companies that make plastics are also the companies that sell fossil fuels. The way to make more profits in this industry is to let people use more plastics, and their motivation is to let us use more plastic products.

Screenshot of the story of plastic

We admit that plastic packaging brings us all kinds of conveniences. They are durable and have a long service life. But precisely because of these "high quality" properties of plastics, it is extremely harmful to the environment.

After one-time use, people discard them, and they enter the imaginary "recycling system". In fact, according to the data of the world economic forum, 32% of plastic packaging will be discarded in the environment at will, 40% will be landfilled, 14% will be incinerated, 14% will be recycled, but only 2% will be recycled at the same level, and the rest will be degraded.

Screenshot of the story of plastic

Most businesses say that while they may be generous in helping with waste disposal issues, they refuse to acknowledge that there are problems with their company's products and that the responsibility lies with consumers and countries with inadequate waste recycling infrastructure. But is it true?

The truth is: recycling is not as simple as people think. The main problem of plastic recycling is multi-layer packaging, such as the packaging bag of chips and biscuits, which can not be recycled. Multilayer packaging is made of plastic film, which often contains many kinds of materials, which makes it very difficult to recycle. Most of the plastic that can't be recycled or degraded can only be stacked into mountains.

Screenshot of the story of plastic

Some unrecyclable plastics enter the incineration plant for burning. The plastic entering the recycling phase will be cleaned and then enter the melting and reshaping phase. In this series of processes, not only the burning and melting will release toxic volatile gases, but also the water used to clean plastics will cause water pollution and direct harm to people's health. The "energy recovery" advocated by enterprises, through the process of transforming solid waste into energy through incineration plants, actually has various hidden dangers.

The story of plastic

At this point, von Hernandez, who is moving away from the plastics movement (bffp), asks: who will bear the burden of these pollution?

The profits of the whole economic system of recycling are very low, which is usually handed over to the poor labor force of developing countries to operate. The most difficult part of waste classification is done by waste collectors, most of them are women, most of them are marginalized. At the same time, they get the least benefit from the system. In turn, who is the biggest beneficiary?

Screenshot of the story of plastic by Indonesian waste collector

According to the latest estimate of the American Chemical Council, from now to 2025, the United States will invest $1940 billion in the construction or expansion of 325 petrochemical facilities, mainly for plastic production, which is a significant expansion. In the United States, we have produced more plastics than we can use.

Screenshot of the story of plastic

The question is, where will plastic go? It flows to Asia, Europe and new product lines. This highlights the basic fact about the plastic crisis and plastic products: compared with any other product chain, plastic production is largely driven not by demand, but by supply.

Screenshot of the story of plastic

We should not simply blame consumers for environmental responsibility. Many of the major structural factors that cause these environmental problems are covered up, and in fact those who make money, that is, those who cause environmental problems, are not required to change their own behavior.

Screenshot of the story of plastic

Plastic is a product that has been praised and popularized by the petroleum and natural gas industries for decades. But what was once rare has become ubiquitous.

The plastic crisis didn't start when plastic came into the ocean, but when oil and gas came out of the mine, it started. Every step forward, it has different problems.

Therefore, if you want to stop using disposable plastics and really solve the plastic crisis, enterprises should be responsible for the impact of their products in the whole life cycle!

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