A flood of recent media coverage has highlighted how society’s addiction to plastics is pushing the environment to the limit. But behind the demonisation of plastic itself lies the need for a paradigm shift in the way we produce and consume goods – one in which we can participate as investors as well as consumers.
Despite the recent media focus on plastic as an environmental issue, its popularity as a raw material continues to rise. Half of the total amount of synthetic plastic resins and fibres ever manufactured have been produced in the past 13 years[footnote]1“Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made,” by by Geyer, R; Janbeck, J R, Law, K L. Published in Science Advances, July 2017.1“Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made,” by by Geyer, R; Janbeck, J R, Law, K L. Published in Science Advances, July 2017.[/footnote], and experts estimate that production will increase by a further 40% over the next decade; according to the American Chemistry Council, $186bn has been invested in new plastics manufacturing facilities in the US alone since 2010[footnote]“180bn-investment-in-plastic-factories-feeds-global-packaging-binge,” by Matthew Taylor. Published in The Guardian on 26 December 2017