Clean Energy Briefing

“Plastic” defines a substance that is soft, pliable and easily workable. It is ironic that plastics have placed a chokehold on the environment and the economy.

“Globally, despite 40 years of effort to focus on recycling, we currently collect 14 percent of plastics for recycling,” said Andrew Morlet, CEO of the circular economy think tank the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, at a World Economic Forum (WEF) panel during Davos 2017. “And we lose a lot of that during the recycling process, so we retain only 2 percent of that value for reuse. At the same time, one third [32 percent] of all plastics leak into the environment.”

Our addiction to throwaway containers, he warned, means that by 2050 there will be more plastic material in the ocean, by weight, than fish.

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