The invention of plastic has changed the world in so many ways – for both better and worse – that it’s hard to picture modern life without it. Instinctively, we might think a plastic-free world could only be an improvement, but that would be to ignore the extent to which plastic is interwoven in almost every aspect of our lives, including its role in the food economy. It has reduced food waste and packaging costs – contributing to food security - while enabling the convenience lifestyle of the modern working family. You only have to consider how the absence of plastic packaging would increase the risks of food product contamination and the spread of disease to understand the vital part it plays. Yet it’s also clear that the sheer volume of plastic pollution has become unsustainable. A 2017 study published in the journal Science Advances found that by 2015, 8.3-billion tons of plastic had been produced globally since 1950. Of this, 6.4-billion tons had become waste with only 9% recyc...

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