Now more than ever it seems we can’t live without plastic. Can we learn to live with it?

Companies and governments are working to minimize environmental harm of plastic packaging and products, but they face a nuanced reality.

Photos ©
Plastic waste litters beaches, kills ocean animals and undermines ecosystem services for a total marine economic impact of around US$8 billion each year. Photo by Bo Eide (Flickr/Creative Commons)
According to the World Economic Forum, packaging is the biggest use of plastic, at 26% of the material’s volume worldwide. Photo ©

The global market for plastic packaging isn’t on track to shrink, but is in fact set to grow by an average of nearly 4% each year through 2025.

Around the world, countries, states and cities have enacted bans against various types of single-use plastics. Photo courtesy of Walmart from Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Plastics are ingrained in our society, so sustainability is no simple task.

With some uses literally a life-or-death matter, simply ditching plastics entirely is not an option. Photos © | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Ensia is a solutions-focused nonprofit media outlet reporting on our changing planet.

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