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California subpoenas Exxon for particulars on function in world plastic air pollution

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A brand of the Exxon Mobil Corp is seen on the Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 24, 2018.

Sergio Moraes | Reuters

California’s lawyer normal on Thursday introduced an investigation into the fossil gas and petrochemical industries for allegedly overstating the function of recycling in curbing world plastic air pollution and exacerbating the disaster.

Attorney Gen. Rob Bonta stated his workplace has subpoenaed Exxon Mobil for data regarding the corporate’s alleged function in deceiving the general public and worsening plastics air pollution. The workplace did not specify what different corporations it was investigating.

As state legislatures and native governments within the Nineteen Eighties started contemplating payments proscribing or banning plastic merchandise, fossil gas and petrochemical corporations started an “aggressive” and “deceptive” marketing campaign to influence the general public that they might mitigate the waste drawback by recycling, which the trade knew wasn’t true, Bonta alleged in a information launch.

“For more than half a century, the plastics industry has engaged in an aggressive campaign to deceive the public, perpetuating a myth that recycling can solve the plastics crisis,” Bonta stated. “The truth is: The vast majority of plastic cannot be recycled.”

“This first-of-its-kind investigation will examine the fossil fuel industry’s role in creating and exacerbating the plastics pollution crisis – and what laws, if any, have been broken in the process,” Bonta stated.

The world produces about 400 million tons of plastic waste annually, in line with estimates from the United Nations. Plastics take a whole bunch of years to decompose, and the vast majority of plastics find yourself sitting in landfills or the ocean. The U.S. solely recycles about 9% of its plastic, in line with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Plastics are additionally set to drive practically half of oil demand development by mid-century, in line with the International Energy Agency. Fossil gas and petrochemical corporations not too long ago invested greater than $200 billion to broaden plastic manufacturing worldwide.

“We reject the allegations made by the Attorney General’s office in its press release,” Exxon spokesperson Julie L. King stated in an announcement. “We are focused on solutions and meritless allegations like these distract from the important collaborative work that is underway to enhance waste management and improve circularity.”

Environmental activist teams on Thursday applauded the state’s investigation of the fossil gas trade.

“For too long, ExxonMobil and other corporate polluters have been allowed to mislead the public and harm people and the planet,” stated Graham Forbes, plastics world marketing campaign lead at Greenpeace USA. “The science has become crystal clear that we must move away from fossil fuels and throwaway plastic.”

— CNBC’s Katie Brigham contributed reporting

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