By Melanie D.G. Kaplan | Feb 23, 2011
WASHINGTON — Last week I went to a program at the National Building Museum, Life After Plastic, during which panelists discussed the impact of rising oil prices on the cost of plastic building materials; the life cycle of plastic; health and environmental concerns; and new product materials such as soy, corn and mushrooms.
Moderator Lance Hosey, president and CEO of GreenBlue (a nonprofit focused on sustainable design and production in business and industry) started off the discussion by telling us that we produce some 300 billion pounds of plastic a year, in highly toxic and dangerous petro-chemical plants. Less than 5 percent of plastic is recycled, he said; other than the small amount of plastic that has been incinerated, every piece of plastic ever made still exists today. (more…)