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MSE Adjunct Professor Bucknall Discusses the Implications to Banning Plastic Bags
Banning plastics in an attempt to combat the amount of man-made rubbish piling up in the environment could cause the planet more harm than good, a leading group of Scottish academics have warned.
Professor David Bucknall, chair in materials chemistry at Heriot-Watt’s Institute of Chemical Sciences and adjunct GT MSE professor, insists that there are no obvious alternatives. “Almost everything we touch or interact with on a daily basis is made of or contains a plastic of some description,” he said. “Banning or reducing their use would have a massive impact on the way we live. For instance, replacing plastics with alternative materials such as glass and metals would cost more to manufacture due to the energy consumed and resources, including water, required to process them.
“Furthermore, because plastics are lightweight, transportation of consumer goods in plastic packaging means fewer vehicles are required for transportation of those goods, therefore burning less fuel and greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.