The Daily Chart: Plastic Madness

So we went and banned plastic straws and plastic bags in much of California and elsewhere because they are made from fossil fuels and a solitary turtle was once found snorting fentanyl through a plastic straw, or something. In any case, Greta/Gaia was displeased, so plastic products had to go.

Well guess what: the substitutes for plastic products mostly produce higher greenhouse gas emissions than plastic. Not by just a little but by a lot.

A study in Environmental Science and Technology published in January has the goods, entitled “Replacing Plastics with Alternatives Is Worse for Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Most Cases.” From the abstract:

This article examines the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission impact of plastic products versus their alternatives. We assess 16 applications where plastics are used across five key sectors: packaging, building and construction, automotive, textiles, and consumer durables. These sectors account for about 90% of the global plastic volume. Our results show that in 15 of the 16 applications a plastic product incurs fewer GHG emissions than their alternatives. In these applications, plastic products release 10% to 90% fewer emissions across the product life cycle. . . Furthermore, in some applications, such as food packaging, no suitable alternatives to plastics exist. These results demonstrate that care must be taken when formulating policies or interventions to reduce plastic use so that we do not inadvertently drive a shift to nonplastic alternatives with higher GHG emissions.

And here’s the chart from the study that makes clear that the anti-plastic crusaders are morons:

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