The growth of plastics production during the past 70 years has outpaced that of any other manufactured material. The same properties that make plastics so versatile in innumerable applications—durability and resistance to degradation—make these materials difficult or impossible for nature to assimilate. Thus, without a well-designed and tailor-made management strategy for end-of-life plastics, humans are conducting a singular experiment on a global scale, in which billions of metric tons of material will accumulate across all major terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems on the planet. The relative advantages and disadvantages of dematerialization, substitution, reuse, recycling, waste-to-energy, and conversion technologies must be carefully considered to design the best solutions to the environmental challenges posed by the enormous and continued growth in global plastics production and use.
Geyer R, Kuczenski B (2012) The Impact of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in California on Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions: Recycled Content Guidelines for Plastic Products, CalRecycle, Sacramento, CA.
Kuczenski B, Geyer R, Trujillo M (2012) The Impact of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in California on Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions: Plastic Clamshell Container Case Study, CalRecycle, Sacramento, CA.