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Could a plastic deposit bottle really be “carbon neutral” ?

According to a recent publication of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), there is no doubt, PLASTIC IS CARBON, from beginning to end-of-life. Indeed, industry interests related to plastic production are huge - thus many private actors falsely claim that plastics can be part of a climate solution through 5 powerful myths which the CIEL wants to debunk: 🗣 Myth #1: Plastic production can be emissions-free by using clean energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS). 👉🏼Plastic is carbon, so “zero-emission plastic” is impossible.

🗣 Myth #2: Plastic waste can be a carbon-free fuel. 👉🏼Burning plastic releases carbon, a process commonly known as “incineration.”

🗣 Myth #3: Plastics can be made without oil and gas and become a carbon sink. 👉🏼Traditional plastic is bad for the climate; plastic made from CCS and hydrogen could be worse.

🗣 Myth #4: Plastic pollution will be mitigated with offset schemes and green credits. 👉🏼It is not possible to offset plastic’s greenhouse gas footprint, either today or in the future.

🗣 Myth #5: Bioplastics will solve the problem. 👉🏼Plastics made from plant feedstocks are still plastics, and their manufacturing depends on carbon-intensive industrial agriculture.

However, in France, it will soon become completely legal to announce that a plastic bottle is carbon neutral. In the initial version of the Climate and Resilience Law bill, it was forbidden to talk about "neutrality" of a product or a company - but in its amended version,it has become possible to claim the neutrality of a product "under certain conditions".

This decree makes the conditions for carbon neutrality rather easy to satisfy - for example, it allows products, derived from carbon-based raw materials transformed into a non-recyclable packaging to be categorised as carbon neutral.

Leaving behind the environmental, energy, and economic inconsistencies in which this era of disposable packaging implies choosing circular distribution models.

Plastic is carbon. Single-use is carbon.


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