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Plastics to Beat Coal as Top Emitter by 2030, Report Warns (1)

Oct. 21, 2021, 6:18 PMUpdated: Oct. 21, 2021, 7:35 PM

If plastics were a country, it would trail just China, the U.S., India, and Russia as a top greenhouse gas emitter, an environmental group said in a report released Thursday.

And in the U.S., growing use of plastics in the U.S. from consumer goods to fracking for natural gas puts it on a path to overtake coal’s contribution to climate change over the next decade, according to the report from the Vermont-based environmental group Beyond Plastics.

That reshuffling is the result of a continuing decline of coal for U.S. electricity generation and a surge in the nation’s petrochemical and chemical ...