Every Stage of the Life Cycle of Plastic Bottles Harms Human Health

A new report says beverage companies such as Coca-Cola should be 'held accountable for the impacts of their plastics on the supply chain'. The report starts at the end of the plastic's life cycle, with discarded PET plastic bottles releasing cancer-causing pollutants and heavy metals into the environment. While industry trade groups like to promote PET as "100 per cent recyclable", the reality is that 70 per cent of bottles are never collected for recycling. Instead they are discarded, sent to landfill or incinerated, causing air pollution that disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Defend Our Health estimates that of the remaining 30 per cent, only a third is recycled into new bottles; the rest is either wasted in the recycling process or turned into lower quality plastic products such as carpets.


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