Plastic more sustainable than paper, study shows
The idea that plastic packaging actually reduces solid waste seems like a contradiction if you look at the numbers put out by the mainstream media. However, a new study by the Earth Engineering Center at the City College of New York (EEC|CCNY) finds that plastics are responsible for a decline in Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generation rates, even as per-capita income and consumption rise.
Historically, the amount of MSW produced by a country or region rises in lockstep with the economy, or personal consumption expenditures (PCE). In the mid-1990s, the rate of MSW generation stopped tracking with rising PCE in the United States and began to show a phenomenon known as “decoupling,” according to a release from the American Chemistry Council (ACC). In 2010, the amount of waste produced in the United States started to decline, despite a continued rise in consumer spending. The study’s authors attribute this decoupling to the increased use of plastic in packaging.
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