“When it comes to single-use, we might be better off focusing on paper rather than plastic,” says leading plastics scientist Chris DeArmitt. He is the author of “Phantom Plastics,” a book that debunks the prevailing thoughts about plastics. He points out that the banks of Canada and England both studied plastic versus paper for the country's money and in both jurisdictions, the decision was to print plastic money rather than paper because it was better for the environment.
Heresy, you say! How can that be? DeArmitt claims, “Life cycle analysis is the answer. Plastic money has seven times the lifespan of paper money.” When looking at the total impact of paper money, the carbon footprint and environmental cost far exceeds that of plastic. DeArmitt starts by pointing to the weight of paper saying, “The extra fuel required to transport paper over plastic is just one element in the life cycle analysis of money. And then add in the impact of harvesting trees, mashing them into pulp and paper and the limited lifespan, and it all adds up to plastic being the best choice.”
DeArmitt continues, “Litter is created by people who can stop doing that by making better choices… When you attach value to plastic, it does not clog drains or end up in the sewer. The proof of that is in money. There are more than eight billion plastic bank notes printed each year and they do not get discarded.”
We invited Dr Chris DeArmitt to join us for a Conversation That Matters about plastics, the myths and misconceptions.
Learn more at plasticsparadox.com