Paris — Along the banks of the Ohio River in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, giant cranes whir overhead as thousands of construction workers toil away at what will be one of the largest plastic factories in the world.

Once complete, the citadel of smokestacks and pipeworks will churn out 1.6-million tonnes a year of pellets for manufacturers in a wide range of industries. They will then make things such as shrink wrap, shampoo bottles and garden furniture which remain popular products in spite of an environmental backlash against plastic. 

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