The war against plastic is distracting us from pollution that cannot be seen

The war against plastic may be overshadowing greater threats to the environment. In a collaboration with experts from the environmental sciences, engineering, industry, policy and charities, we have written a paper in the journal WIREs Water which highlights concerns that relatively easy action against plastic pollution can conveniently mask environmental apathy, and that people are being misled by alarmist headlines, emotive photographs, and “greenwashing.”

Plastic is an incredibly useful and versatile material on which much of modern society relies, yet it has become one of the most topical environmental issues of the day. Over the past few years, plastic pollution has encouraged action from individuals, organizations and governments at levels similar to some of the greatest threats to the environment, such as climate change and biodiversity loss.

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