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The Future's Not in Plastics
A September 2020 report from Carbon Tracker & SYSTEMIQ finds that "plastics impose a massive untaxed externality upon society of at least $1,000 per tonne ($350bn a year) from carbon dioxide, health costs, collection costs, and ocean pollution. And yet 36% of plastic is used once and thrown away, 40% of plastics ends up in the environment, and less than 10% of plastic is really recycled. Polls indicate that 70-80% of people want radical action to change this."
A July 2020 analysis by The Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ finds that without immediate and sustained action, the annual flow of plastic into the ocean could nearly triple by 2040. The study identifies solutions that could cut this by more than 80% using technologies that are available today, if key decision-makers are willing to make systemwide changes.
Wired reports that new research concludes that the top 200 meters of the Atlantic Ocean are positively packed with microplastics, with serious implications for the rest of the water column. (August 2020)
Harvard Business Review: Why Plastic Waste Is a C-Suite Issue - The single-use packaging that we throw away each year represents $100 billion of economic value. That’s a figure worth paying attention to: Recouping those losses and developing solutions to preventing plastic waste more broadly could amount to a trillion-dollar opportunity.