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Plastics Pollution Worse Than Fossil Fuel Emissions by 2030

The plastics industry will release more greenhouse gas emissions than coal-fired power plants by 2030, according to a report from the Bennington College's Beyond Plastics project.

With dozens of new plastics manufacturing and recycling facilities in the works, the U.S. plastics industry will release more greenhouse gas emissions than coal-fired power plants by 2030, say the authors of a new report.

Emissions from the plastics sector equaled that of 116 coal-fired power plants last year, according to the report out Thursday from Bennington College’s Beyond Plastics project. Meanwhile, 42 plastics manufacturing and recycling facilities have opened, or are in the process of being built or permitted, since 2019.

“As the world transitions away from fossil fuels for electricity generation and for transportation, the petrochemical industry has found a new market for fossil fuels: plastics,” Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics, told reporters on Thursday.