What If Everyone Stopped Using Plastic?

How ridding our lives of plastic would change us and our planet.
4:27 | 05/22/14

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Transcript for What If Everyone Stopped Using Plastic?
America's -- away about 32 million tons of -- Equivalent do more than 700000. Humpback whale. Centuries to come. So we wondered what if everyone stopped using plastic. I think that would be a negative thing for the environment in general -- Close hospital. Up from across contingency mission you've been thinking enormous amounts of profiles report to -- content -- holds. Plastic. It's no wonder the US. Crank out thirty million tons of plastic goods in 2000 well. Right -- rocks are thrown about a half -- -- produced goes to some good news packaging and singles. Like disposable syringes but. How plastic shopping that. There's a lot of ways in which -- use plastic for trivial carcasses -- Convenience. But know that convenience comes with environmental costs he was the protection of natural resource. That made it look for alternatives in the first place you know -- go back -- mid nineteenth century the first classics were kind of classical celluloid which ironically was invented. As a kind of environmentally. Friendly immaterial to allow us not to. News so much I bring -- where Michelle. The reason we left classic so much is forced her ability. But that durability coupled with the -- lifestyle famously depicted in life magazine back in 1955. He's also would potentially makes it our worst. Enemy between Betty -- and -- Bag does not degrade their and he just guess it's -- hundreds of music such. What the amount that gets into the ocean and pretty quickly and sinks to the Ocean City. Headline two doors of city when this these plastics have -- go again he's so -- -- -- And our efforts in recycled plastic and does not help either and danced in the US cycles less than 10%. On plastics. Compare that -- to the whopping 90%. Recycling rate for steel. The biggest obstacle is that. Plastics are so similar to one another and they also happen to be similar to other materials. -- -- Ph.D. in polymer science and I can't separate -- pilot makes plastics in front of me very well. So what -- he stopped using plastics altogether. -- computers -- medal credit cards then. Wouldn't cell -- -- police some one garbage cans -- stinger missiles can go back to do that's that's so -- happen. Modern medicine -- graduate absolute all time. -- to a hospital there's plastic all over the place from the disposable syringes. In the kind of packaging that's news to keep the starlet -- -- -- -- so that's another answering. Zero changed and what about the environment we are great sacrifice of giving a plastic he eventually save the world. Stop music classics all the get a hundred guys from alternative materials we -- -- higher prices and energy usage in water usage and -- your generation. That's because it's cheaper to -- his plastic that it is to create something from scratch even though it would eventually break down. What about the millions of tons of plastic that already exist. You can of course recall of the plastics. And calling it something other than -- -- -- except a lot of energy that can be bucolic corner. And he's just an immigrant who couldn't consistent -- -- -- -- -- -- -- will be vindicated like before all of that is yes -- can certainly. Go back to life plays. We have the I don't know plastics but it would be a much more difficult and much more expensive like.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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