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“Banning plastic is ecocide; recycling is key”: Environmental expert explains how plastic helps the planet
30 July 2020 @ 22:59

AN ENVIRONMENTAL association founder has warned against the global trend towards banning plastic – saying doing so is harmful to the planet.

Alejandra Ramos Jaime of La Solución Soy Yo ('It's Me Who's The Solution', roughly translated) and ambassador for the Economic Education Foundation says government attempts to ban or reduce use of plastic is 'ecocide'.

“In a hypothetical scenario where plastic did not exist or had never existed, and supposing a similar pattern of consumerism as we have today, millions of tonnes of other waste would be generated: Single-use paper bags, aluminium foil containers, disposable cardboard packaging, and so on.

“The press would highlight alarm about the sheer quantity of trees chopped down, the massive amount of water used in the textile, paper and cardboard industries, the high level of mining for increasingly-rare minerals, among other problems.

“But then, imagine if someone discovered a material which was able to reduce water use fivefold, reduce non-renewable energy consumption by 200%, cutting greenhouse gas emissions. A pliable, hygienic, resistant material that, as a bonus, doesn't require a single tree to be cut down! Waves of consumers worried about the environment and conservation of natural resources would rush out to use it, and use of paper bags, for example, which cost valuable resources and forests, would be frowned upon.”

“This invention does, fortunately, already exist: Plastic.

“The campaign against plastic has led to our forgetting its multiple benefits, even environmental benefits: Based upon the resources used, a paper bag would need to be reused at least seven times to compensate for the environmental impact of its manufacturing, and a cloth bag needs to be used at least 327 times.

“Plastic is not only more comfortable for consumers, but actually extends the useful life of products and aids their distribution: Vacuum-packed meat, for example, lasts for 30 days instead of four; peppers in perforated plastic last for 20 days rather than four; a plastic water bottle weighs 10 times less than a glass bottle.

“Here, the advantages are that they are easier to transport in greater amounts, meaning less fuel consumption; they're longer-lasting and easier to store, meaning fewer costs and energy use in refrigeration and storage, and less food waste.



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