National Geographic Story on Plastics Rise and Fall

The Story of Plastic: How the plastic bottle went from miracle container to hated garbage” is an August 23, 2019 National Geographic story. The NG story notes that “… The evolution of the plastic bottle from amazing to scourge of land and sea has played out inside of a generation … Activists are zeroing in on the bottle as next in line for banning, after plastic shopping bags … the problem is misuse of bottles at the end of their life. The issue is recovery of the product and incentives to recycle, and the commitment on the part of regulators, as well as brand owners … Many of the solutions are not scalable to a level that would make a noticeable difference, and most of them—including biodegradables—still require that the most elemental and least functional part of the bottle’s lifespan be performed: Someone needs to pick them all up … recovery of plastic waste won’t improve much until it is given greater value, achieved through additional cost of the product … Put a price on a bottle and you’ll get it back …”