In this Our Changing Climate climate change video essay, I look at an aspect of plastic pollution that often is ignored in the face of plastic pollution in the ocean. While ocean plastic pollution is an important issue, plastic is actually a fossil fuel production. This means that the emissions from plastic creation are massive. Unfortunately, the fossil fuel industry sees plastic as a plan B in the face of a renewables transition.
This means that plastic pollution in the ocean and the atmosphere will only rise as fossil fuel industries seek to cover their losses. Unfortunately, recycling plastic is not a viable solution. Recycling plastic is actually an industry-backed tool to get people to buy more plastic without actually recycling most of the plastic, leading to lots of plastic pollution. At the end of the day, only bans and a transition away from plastic can halt plastic pollution both in terms of emissions and ocean plastic pollution.