Episode 18: The Data Behind Plastics

Stefanie Valentic, Editorial Director

May 13, 2021

For Dr. Chris DeArmitt, FRSC, CCHEM, perspective is everything when it comes to plastics. 

He is considered a global expert in plastics, functional fillers and additives and has consulted for many Fortune 500 companies including Hewlett Packard and Proctor & Gamble. He's also the author of "The Plastics Paradox."

The laser focus on plastics is misguided when compared to other types of waste, Dr. DeArmitt says, as plastics comprise fewer than 1% of the materials we're using.

"You can say we're using 100 million tonnes of that, or 200 million tonnes of that it doesn't mean anything, right? It sounds big and shocking," he says. 

With the attention on plastics, other types of solid waste such as paper and food waste that are "double the problem," become hidden areas that cannot be ignored.

"If we focus 100% of our money and attention on plastics - not that we should ignore it - but if we focus all of our attention on it, we're ignoring 90% of the problem and we will never make a dent," Dr. DeArmitt cautions.

In this episode of Stef Talks Trash, Dr. DeArmitt breaks down the data and information behind the plastic pollution movement and provides his insight into where waste reduction and diversion efforts should converge.


About the Author(s)

Stefanie Valentic

Editorial Director, Waste360

Stefanie Valentic is the editorial director of Waste360. She can be reached at [email protected].


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