Plastic and Climate Change: It’s Complicated

Plastic is a core component in many products and packaging due to its lightweight, durable nature and cheap price to produce. From plastic bags to plastic straws, it represents a level of convenience that many consumers want and many businesses want to provide. But new plastic production involves burning fossil fuels and results in greenhouse gas emissions, both of which contribute to climate change.

The impacts of climate change are well-documented by climate scientists and organizations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and they include extreme weather, pollutants in the air, melting polar ice caps in the Arctic Ocean, rising sea levels, damage to coral reefs, and more.

The hard truth is, if we continue with business as usual in the plastics industry, fossil fuel consumption will increase. This puts more Co2 into Earth’s atmosphere and causes the global temperature to rise. The World Economic Forum predicts that 4-8% of annual global oil consumption is associated with plastics today, and if the current path continues, plastics will account for 20% of all oil consumption by 2050. Change mitigation is needed to lessen the impacts of human activity on our environment.

 

Plastic also has impacts on the environment at the end of its lifecycle. When it isn’t recycled, plastic waste and microplastics end up in landfills and in our oceans, putting marine animals at risk and contributing to marine debris collections like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Consumers want to take action on climate change, and they want sustainable alternatives that will keep plastic out of our oceans – so much so that they’re putting pressure on companies to go green and eliminate plastic. But plastic isn’t the enemy. With the right technology, plastic can be sustainable.

At Braven we’ve created a solution to address the growing global issue of plastic waste while also reducing the carbon footprint associated with plastic waste management and plastic production. As a crucial player in the circular economy for plastic, we sustainably break down waste plastic to create a product that can be used in the production of new plastic or as a substitute for traditional fuel applications. We also diminish greenhouse gas emissions by positioning processing sites close to the sources of waste plastic. Our goal is to create restorative, regenerative solutions to solve the plastic pollution problem and lessen plastic’s impact on climate change.

Let’s give waste plastics a valuable second life.