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A new note from the Global Warming Policy Foundation warns that recycling plastic, mandated in law across Europe, is causing immense environmental harms.

Recycling releases microplastics

It highlights a series of recent scientific studies revealing that plants that process plastic waste are releasing astonishing quantities of microplastic particles into the environment.

The author, Dr Mikko Paunio, explains that there is growing scientific concern that recycling plastic is a mistake that is causing significant environmental pollution. “Even Greenpeace can see that it must stop”, he says.

Paunio argues that incineration is the most environmentally friendly approach to plastic waste, pointing to its success in his native Finland, but he says that bureaucracy and green campaigners are preventing its more widespread use.

Dr Paunio also warns that we are about to take another wrong turn:

Green campaigners now want to ban plastic outright, and the forthcoming plastic treaty looks worrying in this regard. If they manage to get a plastic ban put in place, the result will probably be to damage public health, just as they damaged the environment by getting us all to recycle in the first place”

The report is entitled Microplastics: The Harms of the Circular Economy (pdf)