The Problem with Plastics
Petroleum-based plastics are economically unsustainable. A certain percentage of oil consumption is used for the production of conventional plastics. And as oil price continue to rise, so does the cost of plastic materials, virtually all of which are petroleum-based. These costs are passed on to both consumers and businesses.
Looking to the near future, our widespread use of petroleum-based plastics products and our dependence on fossil fuels is economically unsustainable.
Petroleum-based plastics are toxic to the environment and toxic to us
These products may remain for centuries in our surrounding environment, but they also live on in our bodies. Chemical and petroleum derived plastics often contain allegedly harmful chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates--linked to hormone disruption and developmental disorders.
When such plastic products are washed, heated or stressed, the chemicals can leach into the foods and liquids we put into our bodies.
Petroleum-based plastics don't really biodegrade
What does "degradable" really mean? This and other associated terms used by the plastic industry can be misleading. For instance, while conventional plastic grocery bags are often considered "degradable" or "oxy-degradable", they are actually "photo-degradable". That means exposure to sunlight breaks them down into smaller and smaller pieces, eventually becoming microscopic pieces of plastic.
These tiny plastic particles slowly make their way into our watersheds, through creekes and storm drains to the open sea to perpetuate vast areas of ocean plastic pollution that kills sea animals and contaminate the food chain.