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Plastics are vital. How do we use them without trashing the planet?

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Forbes or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A team led by Cameron Hepburn at the University of Oxford outlines a roadmap in Nature for a sustainable plastics economy, aiming to reconcile plastics' indispensability with environmental friendliness
This bold strategy seeks to transform plastics' role in both society and the environment.

🔭 The context: Plastics, crucial yet environmentally damaging, have permeated every aspect of human life and the natural world
The study emphasizes the need for a systemic overhaul to reduce plastics' carbon footprint and environmental impact, highlighting their ties to climate change through CO2 emissions

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The roadmap proposes a circular, zero-carbon plastics economy to mitigate the pollution crisis
By addressing plastics' life cycle, from production to disposal, the plan aims to drastically cut emissions and plastic waste, directly impacting global environmental and health outcomes

⏭️ What's next: The proposal sets forth four interlinked strategies: halving plastics demand, shifting to non-fossil fuel sources, maximizing recycling, and minimizing environmental harm
•  These steps, alongside global cooperation, like the UN's negotiations on a plastic pollution treaty, could revolutionize plastics management.

💬 One quote: "Reducing demand is the first lever, to make the problem smaller," states Cameron Hepburn, emphasizing the urgent need to tackle plastics consumption and production at their roots.

📈 One stat: Only 9% of plastic waste is recycled globally, highlighting the inefficiency of current plastics management and the pressing need for systemic change.


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