By Doug Woodring
- Published on September 28, 2012 by Sustainable Brands
Discarded plastic, with a half-life of hundreds of years for some products, continues to find its way into our environment at ever-growing rates. Sadly, since our waste management and recycling infrastructure does not come close to being able to handle the amounts we discard, we are accumulating an eco-bank of problems that we are only now starting to fully appreciate.
Roughly 85% of the plastic used in products and packaging is not recycled, while most of the plastic produced in the past 60 years remains in the environment today (unless it has been burned, creating its own set of health issues along the way). Much of this plastic floats through our communities and emerges on beaches, and more often far at sea. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it is estimated that up to 80% of the plastic and waste that ends up in our ocean comes from land...