Because of coronavirus, events planned for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day were cancelled, or moved online. At least while lockdown orders last, the pandemic is transforming behavior and environmental impacts—but not across the board. Some industries are cynically exploiting it to push for rollbacks and greater license to pollute.The plastics industry is a case in point. It’s intertwined with the fossil fuel industry, since petrochemical byproducts of fossil fuel production are the feedstocks for plastics. As demand for fracked gas declines, the two industries have been working to channel overproduction into producing more plastic, and they’re playing the angles to stoke demand.”The Story of Plastic,” a powerful new film airing this Earth Day, exposes this in exquisite detail. Even if we’ve seen the pictures of plastic “islands” twice the size of Texas swirling in ocean gyres, most of us are unprepared to grasp the true dimensions of the plastic crisis the film documents, which industry tactics will make worse. Nine million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans annually. In many places around the world, fisherman haul in almost as much plastic as fish, and plastic pollution pervades much of the developing world.Yet the industry makes more single-use plastic… Read full this story
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