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File #: 180716    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: LAPSED
File created: 6/21/2018 In control: Committee on the Environment
On agenda: Final action:
Title: Authorizing the Committee on the Environment to hold hearings regarding the threat of wasted plastics to the health, safety, and wellbeing of the City and residents of Philadelphia.
Sponsors: Councilmember Green
Attachments: 1. Signature18071600.pdf
Title
Authorizing the Committee on the Environment to hold hearings regarding the threat of wasted plastics to the health, safety, and wellbeing of the City and residents of Philadelphia.

Body

WHEREAS, Plastics have transformed society, often for the better, including revolutionizing medicine, enabling space travel, reducing fuel pollution through lighter vehicles, extending the shelf-life of fresh foods, saving lives through airbags, incubators, helmets, and many other uses; and

WHEREAS, Having only been invented in the late 19th century with production not ramping up until around 1950, plastics - semi- or fully synthetic products usually derived from petrochemicals - have not existed for long, limiting the time available to study them or understand how they decompose; and

WHEREAS, Of the 9.2 billion tons of plastic that has been created, more than 6.9 billion tons have become waste - a staggering 6.3 billion of which has never made it to a recycling bin - and there is uncertainty about how long it will take plastic to completely biodegrade into its constituent molecules, with estimates ranging from 450 years to never; and

WHEREAS, Convenience to consumers of ostensibly single-use plastic has led to vast numbers of bags, utensils, wrappers, and other plastics clogging the waste stream, as well as creating problems outside of it, such as plastic bags caught in tree branches; and

WHEREAS, The Philadelphia Water Department removes approximately 10,000 pounds of plastic from our rivers and creeks each year; and

WHEREAS, Recycling of plastic and other materials has long relied on its reuse value, with China serving for the last few decades as the purchaser of significant volumes of discarded plastic products, allowing American waste haulers to divert them from landfills cost-effectively, limiting the costs to municipalities and residents alike; and

WHEREAS, Shifting from its status as the biggest creator of pla...

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