#plastic #chemical #pollution #ocean #fracking #fossil fuel #climate change

There is currently no fracking wells in operation in the U.K., although companies including Ineos, Cuadrilla and Third Energy have been all attempting to pursue fracking projects.

Last year the Guardian revealed that a huge boom in the US shale gas industry has resulted in a £180bn investment in plastic production facilities by fossil fuel giants such as ExxonMobil Chemical and Shell Chemical - contributing to a 40% rise in global plastic production over the next decade. "I can summarise [the boom in plastics facilities] in two words," said Kevin Swift, chief economist at the American Chemistry Council (ACC), "Shale gas."

Facing challenges that fracking could exacerbate the plastics crisis, however, a spokesperson for the government reiterated its determination to reduce plastic pollution and added there was "no correlation between shale gas exploration and increased plastics production".

However, recently the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) says fracking will not only destroy large areas of the countryside, it will exacerbate the global plastic binge which is already causing widespread damage to oceans, habitats and the human food chain. "By opening the floodgates to fracking, the government will be fuelling the plastic plague that is already putting our countryside, cities and oceans at risk of irreversible harm."

Association 3 Herissons believes that plastic pollution is a cross-sector issue requires a systematic view of the whole value chain of plastics and their products to tackle from the root causes upstream. We understand that there are different initiatives by governments, by civil societies, by corporates, and by inter-governmental organizations, but mostly working in silos. Elimination of unnecessary production and consumption of plastics particularly those produced from fossil fuels (e.g. fracking) might be the first thing to consider.

For more details, please refer to the original Guardian report.