Headline RoundupApril 22nd, 2024

Earth Day: What Should We Do About Plastic Waste and Microplastics?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

EARTHDAY.ORG announced its 2024 theme was “Planet vs. Plastics,” raising concerns over the amount of non-biodegradable plastic waste produced by countries around the world. 

The Details: According to the United Nations, the world dumped the equivalent of 2,000 truckloads of plastic waste into the ocean daily in 2023. Furthermore, a recent report claimed the plastics industry misled the public about the effectiveness of plastic recycling, and some have raised concerns about the amount of microplastics in the environment.

‘Couldn’t be timelier’: In Forbes (Center bias), a writer sponsored by software company SAP took the "plastics" theme at face value, framing the prevalence of plastics and microplastics as a “big” challenge. The writer argued for performing “Life Cycle Assessments” to design products “with end of life in mind.” 

‘Hyperbolic condemnation’: A pair of writers in Fox News (Opinion rated Right) criticized “the woke left” for “declaring war on useful plastics.” They argued that “plastics improve our quality of life,” adding that while the percentage of single-use plastic use “could and should be reduced,” the “absolutism of the Earth Day organizers illustrates what is wrong with today’s environmental movement.” A writer for the American Enterprise Institute (Lean Right bias) agreed, calling Earth Day “the central religious holiday of modern left-wing environmentalism.”
‘Stop “recycling” plastic’: A writer in The Washington Post (Lean Left bias) called on readers to acknowledge that “plastic as a material is not recyclable” and to “get to work on the real solution: making a whole lot less of it.”

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