Iowa Climate Science Education
Guest essay By Steve Goreham
April 22 was designated by the Earth Day Network as Earth Day 2018. This year’s Earth Day was dedicated to ending global plastic pollution. While efforts to reduce plastic pollution are needed, the campaign missed the mark by emphasizing measures to eliminate the use of plastics.
Earth Day Network’s “Plastic Pollution Primer and Action Toolkit” identifies important problems such as litter and accumulating plastic in the ocean. It proposes effective measures to reduce plastic pollution such as local beach clean-up and recycling. But then the primer goes overboard, promoting radical proposals such as “whenever possible, refuse plastic” and “living a plastic-free life.”
Plastics are essential to modern society. We fabricate food containers, boat paddles, shoes, pipes, toys, smart phones, and thousands of other goods from plastic. Plastic is integral to medical services, used in heart valves, artificial joints, and catheters. Every day, society consumes approximately…
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