"Plastics Poised To Overtake Coal As Climate Driver" - Report

"Plastics production is on track to become a major source in driving climate change, according to a report out today that finds the industry will outpace coal in greenhouse gas emissions within a decade.

The findings, which stem from a project with Bennington College in Vermont and the environmental group Beyond Plastics, show that the U.S. plastics industry is quickly gaining on more traditional sources of greenhouse gas emissions and that plastics are already a significant source, with the petrochemical industry rapidly growing.

That never-before compiled data is being released as nations prepare for the U.N. climate summit, known as COP 26, in Glasgow, Scotland, next month. During a press conference today, Beyond Plastics President Judith Enck, a former EPA regional administrator, argued that global leaders should be paying more attention to the relationship between plastics and climate change, as should Congress.

“Our report has found that plastics is replacing coal as a major source of atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions,” Enck said, noting that while there is “general awareness” about the issue in government and the business world, “a lot of people don’t fully understand is how plastics is intimately connected to climate change.”"

E.A. Crunden and Ana Faguy report for E&E News October 21, 2021.

Source: E&E News, 10/22/2021