Greenpeace denounces the false alternatives to plastic offered by brands and supermarkets

«The alternatives to plastic containers are reusable and rechargeable. There's no more". With these words, the person in charge of the campaign of plastics of Greenpeace, Julio Barea, summarizes the conclusions of the report "Throwing the future" with which the organization alerts on the "false solutions that the marks and the supermarkets" put into circulation for " win customers »:

1) From plastic to paper. Greenpeace believes that it is a way of transferring the problem to another ecosystem, natural forests, because "the pulp and paper industry, logging and large-scale industrial tree plantations", cause their degradation and loss. Such actions also emit large amounts of CO2. And the paper recycling systems of "many" countries are, the organization says, unable to produce enough quality recycled fiber, so many tons of paper and cardboard end up in landfills and incinerators.

2) "Bioplastics." According to Greenpeace, only 1% of the plastic available in the market is of biological origin: manufactured with material such as corn or sugar cane. But that, "mostly", is still partially composed of fossil plastic. The temperature and humidity conditions necessary for them to degrade rarely occur in the natural environment, the organization warns.

3) Recycled and recyclable containers. Based on the results of another Greenpeace report, "Recycling is not enough", only about 25% of plastic containers would be recycled. “Even if the system worked correctly, which is not the case, it would not have the capacity to recycle at the rate of production: only in 2017, the market for flexible plastic containers (wrappers, bags, single-dose envelopes… etc.) grew by 19%. Neither the conventional recycling (which generates a lower quality plastic) or the chemical (problematic due to the emission of dangerous substances and the large amount of energy it needs) are being real solutions ”, denounces the organization.

In addition to the "plastic avalanche" suffered by ecosystems such as the oceans, 99% of the plastic comes from oil or gas, whose extraction and refining contribute to climate change, Greenpeace recalls. By 2050, global greenhouse gas emissions related to the life cycle of plastic could represent up to 10-13% of the "remaining budget available for emissions," they underline from the organization.

According to the estimates that Greenpeace manages by the end of 2019, the production and incineration of plastic worldwide will emit the equivalent of 189 coal plants; The situation, in his opinion, is unsustainable given the current "climate emergency" situation. And, "as if that were not enough," plastic needs chemical additives to improve its stability, flexibility and appearance, including carcinogens and endocrine disruptors such as phthalates, they insist from the organization.

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