Op-Ed: The pipe dream of sustainable plastics

Read the full story at Environmental Health News.

You’ve probably been hearing a lot lately about the negative environmental and human health impacts of plastics. And for good reason – its global production is expected to more than triple between now and 2050.

According to industry projections, we will create more plastics in the next 25 years than have been produced in the history of the world so far.

While plastics touch nearly every aspect of the market, they are especially ubiquitous in our buildings. The building and construction industry is the second largest use sector for plastics after packaging. Plastic production relies on a variety of hazardous chemicals and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of the lifecycle. And while there is a lot of talk about recycling, the truth is that virtually no plastic building products are recycled into equal use materials today.

Given this info, we believe the best way to avoid hazardous chemicals and support a circular economy in the building industry is to avoid plastic building materials altogether.

But we also believe in the power of the market to drive innovation. So, let’s consider what would need to happen for plastic building products to be considered truly sustainable. Can the plastics industry do better?

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