How much will we sacrifice for plastics?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

A miracle material. A scourge on the earth. An unfortunate, but necessary, part of modern life. Whatever your perception of plastics, few materials evoke more collective ire

That vitriol and venom is usually directed at the downstream consequences: Dismal recycling rates; alarming pollution pileups in our lands and ocean; or the proliferation of microplastics — now so pervasive they can be found in human blood, lungs, breast milk and placenta

As it turns out, it’s rarely understood just how harmful downstream plastics are to our health (although mounting evidence and common sense leads me to believe eating a credit card’s worth of plastic every week can’t be good for us). 

What’s becoming evident is the often overlooked, underreported and devastating effects that plastics have on human health upstream. The train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio — which spilled and burned the carcinogen vinyl chloride, a critical ingredient for certain hard plastic resins — is a top-of-mind example. 

While the long-term health implications of this particular accident are concerning but unknown, one thing is clear: Many chemicals and manufacturing processes required to make plastics are toxic to life. 

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