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As CNN explained, though there has been some progress with the creation of biodegradable polymers, the researchers warned microplastics “will continue to cycle through the earth’s systems.”
Why This Matters: We have the tools to keep plastic out of the environment, yet we need to get to work ASAP. As the World Wildlife Fund’s Head of Plastic Waste and Business, Erin Simon, wrote for ODP: “we need to create a truly circular economy in which plastic maintains its value at every stage of its life cycle, stopping it from becoming waste in the first place. But in order to accomplish that, we first need a firm grasp of the policy proposals, emerging technologies, and other potential solutions that will shape much of the dialogue around this critical issue.”
Domestic legislation like The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act is a crucial step to tackling U.S. plastic pollution. The bill would shift some financial responsibility for the end-of-life management of plastic packaging to producers, thereby creating an incentive for them to design products that can be more easily reused or recycled. This is a key step as municipal budgets are often strapped for cash and cannot adequately collect and manage plastic waste.
In addition to this, two-thirds of UN member states have already indicated they are open to the idea of a global treaty on plastic akin to the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. This latest PNAS study shows that microplastics don’t linger where they’re created, thus plastic pollution is truly a global problem. The world must come together to ensure that all nations have the support they need to properly manage plastic and create circular economies.
Straight To The Source:Wired wrote of the study that 84% of airborne microplastics in the American West actually comes from the roads outside of major cities. The tires spinning on roads, the braking process, and exhaust from cars help spread microplastic particles, the study revealed.
Additionally, another 11% of microplastics could be blowing all the way in from the ocean. (The researchers who built the model reckon that microplastic particles stay airborne for nearly a week, and that’s more than enough time for them to cross continents and oceans.)
It’s annual meeting season, and corporations are increasingly on the defensive about their carbon footprint, climate change policies, and other social issues. Most of the time, corporate leaders manage to fend off such resolutions. But this year, DuPont lost big on a shareholder proposal, filed by a group called As You Sow, that received 81.2 […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Single-use plastics are being taxed and phased out across the country, but what do we do about the single-use items we can’t avoid? This is the conundrum facing the country as the vaccine rollout continues and accelerates. With over 230 million doses administered before President Biden’s 100th day in office, millions of plastic syringes […]
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