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Pollution
Waste and Recycling
Plastics and Polymers

What are some bad things about plastic?

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November 11, 2014 3:08PM

"One bad thing about plastic is its bad for the enviroment. You should use reuse able things that isn't plastic. Most wastes biodegrade (compost) but plastics do not."

Plastic is not inherently "bad for the environment", it depends entirely on how you manage your plastics waste. If you carelessly go around throwing plastic bags and empty plastic containers onto the ground, then of course it's a problem. If you collect and recycle them then there isn't a problem. Synthetic plastics in the environment basically just sit there - they are not intrinsically toxic or harmful.

The comment "most wastes biodegrade but plastics do not" is complete nonsense. Firstly, plastics DO biodegrade, they just do it very slowly. Also, if you place paper (recycled paper or any other type) into a landfill site, THAT will not biodegrade for years either. The reason is simple - biodegradation requires oxygen, and the inside of landfill sites are basically oxygen-free. No bugs can survive there, so no paper can degrade.

The whole "use paper cups, they're more environmentally friendly" thing is pseudoscientfic claptrap. They key point is the way that you handle and manage the waste, not what the waste is made of.