Opération Mer Propre, or Operation Clean Sea, is a nonprofit group that cleans the waters of France’s Mediterranean coast. In addition to the usual waste they find, they’re now picking up masks and gloves.
Plastic has long been made from oil, but today it’s increasingly made from ethane, a component of natural gas. To turn ethane into the building block of plastic, petrochemical companies are investing in ethane cracker plants, raising concerns about what these facilities could mean for air pollution and climate change.
Plastic junk from the US is often sent to Southeast Asia, where illegal "recycling" centers are causing an environmental emergency with the fumes from burning trash. And many people believe that America, above all, has the power to make this stop.