By Paul Homewood
An outright ban on plastics could lead to greater environmental damage, according to a group of academics.
Campaigners have called for reductions or bans in some areas, with recent programmes such as the BBC’s Blue Planet highlighting the impact of plastics on the world’s oceans.
A group of 40 academics from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh said they support the need to prevent potentially harmful environmental effects of plastics but arguments surrounding a reduction or ban are “often shortsighted and not based on facts”.
The group, which draws expertise from engineering, science, economics and social science, said there needs to be a “circular economy” for plastic usage.
They said replacing plastics with other available packaging, such as glass or metal, could lead to a doubling of global energy consumption and a tripling of greenhouse gas emissions.
Professor David Bucknall, chairman in materials chemistry from the university’s…