A caution against the war on plastic

That title is hard for me to digest as I have recently been laser focused on plastics, microfiber in particular. But a recent article in peer reviewed scientific journal makes this exact point, quote:

“In an article published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal,¬†Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) Water, the 13 experts say that while plastic waste is an issue, its prominence in the general public’s concern for the environment is overshadowing greater threats, for example, climate change and biodiversity loss.”

The authors highlighted two unintended consequences of our obsession with plastic and its easy appeal to the public to highlight climate impacts. First, there are greater problem like deforestation and the subsequent carbon releases to warm the planet. Second, in a hurry to replace plastic, the behaviors and product design do not really change, we just replace one sinful material (plastic) with a less sinful material without really changing structurally. The authors point this out, quote:

“We are seeing unprecedented engagement with environmental issues, particularly plastic pollution, from the public and we believe this presents a once in a generation opportunity to promote other, potentially greater environmental issues. This is a key moment in which to highlight and address areas such as ‘throw-away’ culture in society and overhaul waste management. However, if there is a continuation in prioritising plastic, this opportunity will be missed — and at great cost to our environment.”

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