Facts & Findings

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Plastic Pollution

Our World in Data


April 1, 2022

Hannah Ritchie
Our World in Data


Plastic Pollution

Key finding

The trade-offs

between plastics and substitutes are complex

“It is important to keep in mind that plastic is a unique material with many benefits: it’s cheap, versatile, lightweight, and resistant. This makes it a valuable material for many functions. It can also provide environmental benefits: it plays a critical role in maintaining food quality, safety and reducing food waste. The trade-offs between plastics and substitutes (or complete bans) are therefore complex and could create negative knock-on impacts on the environment.”

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