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Raging Against Plastic: New Investigation Exposes Supermarket’s Role in Plastic Pollution

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Plastic pollution is one of the greatest challenges we face, as the world produces more than 381 million tons of plastic annually, while an estimated 8 million pieces make its way into the ocean each day
  • A new investigation explores food packaging as one of the greatest sources of global plastic pollution
  • Two of Canada’s largest supermarkets are big plastic polluters, as they source products from suppliers that overuse plastic in food packaging; neither grocer has any major plans to reduce plastic pollution
  • The investigation shows how difficult it is to buy plastic-free when shopping at major grocers; however, one U.K. grocery went plastic-free in 10 weeks, and their profits increased
  • Western nations are shipping their plastic waste to be recycled in poorer countries with fewer environmental regulations on how it’s processed and disposed of

The looming threat of plastic pollution is one of mankind's greatest challenges. With more than 381 million tons of plastic produced worldwide each year, it's no surprise the waste ends up in our soil, lakes, rivers and oceans, as well as in the bodies of humans and wildlife.

The durability of plastic is what makes it popular for use in so many products. But its strength and durability also mean that it doesn't break down in the environment. It's estimated that a plastic bottle can take 450 years to break down in a marine environment, while fishing line can take 600 years. But even then, it never goes away. It simply breaks down into smaller pieces that may persist in the environment forever.

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