From all the details about plastic grocery bags that take 500 years to decompose to stories of toxic chemicals like BPA and phthalates and VOCs, plastics are the environmental bad guy. We’ve all seen the photos of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and the impact plastics have on wildlife. There is no denying that plastic is bad. But just how bad is it?
Let’s start at the very beginning. Most plastic is made from fossil fuels like oil and natural gas. Which means toxins are released into the environment when the raw materials are extracted from the earth, yes, even natural gas. The manufacturing process itself involves additional chemicals, industrial waste and lots of water. Continue reading