Plastic production is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and is growing rapidly as demand soars worldwide. If nothing is done, analysts predict it will account for about 13 per cent of the world's remaining carbon budget by 2050.
Plastics are expected to contribute more to climate change than coal-powered generating plants within the next decade, a new report by U.S. environmental organization Beyond Plastics has found. But the problem has so far received minimal attention from politicians and businesses.
A week-long water crisis that has left residents of Nunavut's capital city Iqaluit without drinking water is also exposing a chronic problem for many northern communities: It's almost impossible to safely get rid of garbage.
Cheap plastic coffee cups, takeout containers, and hundreds of other single-use items have long been a substitute for more durable alternatives made from glass, ceramic, or wood, despite the environmental harm they cause.
Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, formally announced it was considering tighter regulations for pyrolysis and gasification — controversial processes that are associated with “chemical recycling.”
A global agreement to curb plastic pollution is a few steps closer to becoming a reality after several countries, including the European Union — but not Canada — backed a draft resolution that will speed up negotiations towards an agreement.