The Problem With Plastics

Aug 29, 2018

Plastics. They’ve changed medicine, transportation, and food and water safety. But they've also become a global headache. There's more than six billion tons of plastic trash in the world. What can be done about the problem of plastics?

Where would we be without plastics? They helped the Allies win World War II. They’ve made vehicles more fuel-efficient. Plastics revolutionized medicine and how we supply clean drinking water. But they’re also a global headache. It started when we turned to them as a convenient, cheap and disposable tool in our everyday lives. Now there’s more than six billion tons of plastic trash, and a lot of it ends up in the oceans. Wednesday, we’re talking about the problem of plastics and what we can do about it.


  • Laura Parker is a senior reporter at National Geographic. She specializes in covering climate change and marine environments, and her work is part of the magazine's Planet or Plastic? campaign, a multi-year initiative aimed at raising awareness of the global plastic crisis and reducing the amount of single-use plastic that is polluting our world's oceans. Her reporting was featured prominently in the magazine's June 2018 issue.
  • Beth Terry is an accountant, activist, and public speaker. She blogs at My Plastic Free Life, and she's the author of the book Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too [Indie bookstores|Amazon|Audible]