Plastic Waste – Definition of Environmental Degradation Needed

According to an opinion published June 10, 2020 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers with the Massachusetts Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution “… One key assumption behind the [plastic waste] issue and the public outcry is that plastics last indefinitely in the environment, resulting in chronic exposure that harms animals and humans. But the data supporting this assumption are scant … estimates of the environmental lifetime of individual plastic goods vary substantially, in some cases from one year to ‘forever’ … Without a definition of degradation, it is unclear what the plastics are degrading into. Are they degrading completely to carbon dioxide, degrading partially to different chemical products, or merely physically degrading into smaller pieces? These varied breakdown products have vastly different—not to mention poorly understood—risks to environmental and human health … by not stating how or where the degradation occurs, the public is led to believe that lifetimes of plastic goods are the same in all environments …” #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic #PlasticPackaging