Summary of More Recycling Won't Solve Plastic Pollution

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While individuals are responsible for the global plastic crisis, the role of business in addressing the problem has received less public scrutiny. In a blog post on the Scientific American website, biologist Matt Wilkins explains how plastic manufacturers and beverage companies have successfully deflected responsibility for the waste problem by blaming consumers. getAbstract recommends his opinion piece to plastic consumers everywhere.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why littering isn’t the true cause of plastic pollution and 
  • How corporations have gotten away with deflecting responsibility for the plastic waste crisis.

About the Author

Matt Wilkins, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Science Outreach. 



Pollution from single-use plastic poses a range of hazards to organisms and the environment. Plastic toxins leach into waterways, and wildlife can become entangled in plastic bags or ingest plastic debris. The focus for fixing the plastic problem currently rests on consumers. Publicity campaigns and legislative initiatives are urging consumers to recycle and refrain from littering. Yet the root of the problem is the plastic manufacturers, who want to keep selling single-use plastics while shifting responsibility for its environmental impact onto consumers.

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