From the beginning of its discovery, plastic played a fundamental role in our everyday life becoming omnipresent and irreplaceable thanks to its moderate price and to its infinite fields of application. Recently though all the positive aspects of this incredible material have been overshadowed by the images we are seeing on a daily basis. Beaches covered in litter, fishes and turtles swimming through plastic bottles and bags and animals’ stomachs full of plastics, lead to the misleading thought that all the problems concerning the pollution that we are facing in these days are caused exclusively by this material. Starting from the book written by Chris DeArmitt “The plastic paradox”, we want to debunk the myths according to which an eco-sustainable alternative to plastic must be found, without for this idealizing plastic nor demonizing any other material. Our aim is to approach the issue basing our statements on scientific methods and researches that stray from ideological dogmas generated by emotions driven by mass-medias. We want to report the truths that emerge from the tools we can use, being them scientific researches or standardized analysis methods.
In the next articles we will investigate some of the inevitable matters that we come across when talking about plastics, analyzing data and researches made worldwide. More specifically we will focus on the following wrong beliefs:
- Paper, cotton, glass and metal are “greener” than plastics;
- Plastics are the cause of our waste problem;
- Plastics are responsible for litter;
- Microplastics are toxic or release toxins;
- Plastic last hundreds or thousands of years in the environment;
- Plastic consumes planets’ resources
The reliability of the data
If the statement “Without data you’re just a person with an opinion” by mr. W. Edwards Deming is true, we think it’s fundamental that the data that are used are verified and justified in order to avoid mystifications that do not bring any advantages to the planet. It is very important that we do all our researches avoiding beliefs and hearsay that most of the times create more problems than they actually solve.