All kinds of plastic have a significant environmental impact. Large amounts of petroleum and toxic chemicals are required to make plastic, and disposing of the material presents serious problems. Burning plastic to get rid of it releases toxic pollutants into the environment, but if left in a landfill it takes a very long time to break down. Some companies have come out with supposedly “biodegradable” plastics, but it is unclear just how easily some of these materials actually will break down in nature. So plastic is unlikely to ever become an inherently “green” substance. You can reduce the impact of plastic by recycling whatever plastic materials you can, ensuring that they stay out of the landfill and reducing the need to make more new plastic.
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