October 5, 2018
Single-use plastics — such as cups with straws, takeout containers and water bottles — are so common in our culture of convenience that we often don’t give them a second thought.
But their momentary utility is misleading: These items stick around a really long time.
Because of the way plastic is designed, “its afterlife is much longer than its useful lifespan,” said Rolf Halden, director of the Biodesign Institute's Center for Environmental Health Engineering at Arizona State University. Plastic that we use for just a moment “has the potential to pollute for decades, centuries or millennia.”