Petroleum-based plastics have a profound impact on human health and the environment. The production of greenhouse gasses from the creation of plastics and the sheer quantity of plastic waste yielded from human activities significantly contribute to climate change, disrupting marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Bioplastics are a promising solution, upholding the strength of petroleum-based plastics but compostable and biodegradable. We spoke with Raegan Kelly of Better for All about shifting the paradigm of human consumption of plastic by using biodegradable cups.
The U.S. produces so much waste that this waste can be quantified using Olympic-sized swimming pools as negligible units of measurement.
Many “recyclable” materials are not recycled or even recyclable. While papers and metals are recycled at relatively high rates, recycling rates for plastic are below 10 percent. Most plastics display numerical codes, purporting to denote a standardized and elaborate recycling system. But the system is convoluted, sometimes confusing even recycling facilities and identifying recycling processes that are not used.