The selective accounting behind the plastic industry’s climate-friendly claims
By Joseph Winters
As the plastics industry ramps up production, plastic pollution continues to accumulate in the environment at an alarming pace. Up to 199 million metric tons of plastic is already swirling in the oceans — strangling marine life and leaching toxic chemicals into the food chain — and a study published earlier this year predicts this number could quadruple by midcentury. Meanwhile, plastic — most of which is made out of oil and gas — is also taking a toll on human communities. Production facilities located in majority-Black and low-income communities emit hazardous air pollution, contributing to wildly elevated rates of cancer and respiratory disease.