Tough Truths About Plastic Pollution

The waste hierarchy
Image via Wikipedia

Diana Cohen, co-founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, speaks on plastic pollution and the need to stop the reliance on plastic by adding “Refuse” to the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) currently used in most Sustainability and Recycle slogans. Having worked with plastics for the past 15 years, Diana shares her insights on why the current paradigm needs to change.

Plastic is forever. It breaks down to smaller and smaller pieces and attracts toxic chemicals. This mix is ingested by wildlife on land and in the ocean, and it enters our food chain.

What do you think about the need to rethink our experience with plastics? Will you start refusing to buy single use plastics?

You can also view this video on the TED website and check out Diana Cohen’s bio.

Are there other sustainable ways to rethink plastics beyond refusing to use them?

Here is a video of a man in Japan who is turning plastic into oil. With all the alternate energy explorations going on, is this another option? Can it scale? Does it have additional negative environmental impacts?