‘It’s not too late’ with Ginger Zee: Search for solutions to stop plastic pollution

ABC’s Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee discusses COVID-19 plastic waste and the rapidly expanding plastic industry.
8:23 | 07/10/20

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Transcript for ‘It’s not too late’ with Ginger Zee: Search for solutions to stop plastic pollution
There was a New York may have noticed the dead fish are turning up in large numbers along the Hudson River according to an environmental group that monitors the waterway the unrelenting summer heat and climate change could be to blame high temperatures can overheat the watering decreasing oxygen in the river. For chronic life. Finish even noticing a lot of gloves and masks on the street lately well you're certainly not alone but. That's all plastic production across the country is poised to dramatically expand and it's for take a factory that you probably haven't even heard of before. The debate now is whether all that plastic is a good. Or bad thing chief meteorologist gene Jersey explains in this week's. It's not too late. Yeah. Hi I'm dizzy and it's not too late here he of the environmental headlines that you know in this this week. I feel like I showed flooding video like that almost every day on GM. Three to five inches flash flood emergency flood warning to Indiana Ohio into North Carolina. And thanks to a new study we now know that these videos are telling ahead in story. Fourteen point six million homes and businesses are risk of severe flooding you can see all the neighborhoods highlighted there. That's almost twice as many as FEMA originally thought. The other map here from the group that did this study added sea level rise some rainfall and flooding in smaller creeks to their equations. Now from floods in the US to the extreme heat inside the area on June 20 dear France and Russia reported a preliminary all time record high. The other 100 degrees in the Arctic is among the fastest warming regions in the world heating it to like the global average. And not a topic that you need to know more about swinging. I think crackers. I don't that he sounds like a terrible twist on a tasty snack. But instead of the snack itself and I think there is an industrial plant and it helps maintenance. That you might find your snack the plastic packaging that you might break into after. I don't you earlier gloves and mask. In the parking lot at a grocery store or on the sidewalk. More in history. Or even in a planter. I mean I'm glad you're wearing a mask my goodness truth is that it's. I'm against it explaining more about those acting crackers and what you need to know we'll let and I only one seeing a lot of this litter these days. And it wasn't really rhetorical question actually thirty ask you and then you insect. From your pictures Californian Texas and New Jersey. All of it tells me that Kobe litter is everywhere in the French nonprofit operation our problem has already found gloves and masks in the Mediterranean Sea when their FaceBook posts from the group says. They worry that they will eventually have more gloves then gently thing. Fat and one. Masks. Probably represents hundreds of thousands not millions of micro classic articles focused broke down. That was doctor mark then feel he studies Michael plastics and has a new study uncovered waste. Crowned heights. And I'm. 170. Gloves or air to air. How that's 416. Gloves on every block in Crown Heights Brooklyn. And he said that almost every single one of those clubs is going to Washington the storm drains and then into the ocean. Now who medical professionals should men absolutely need disposable PP but this ABC study shows that you don't. Not only are their reusable masks better for the environment but in this study of folding fabric mass cat. Kobe droplets closer to the face close there and better. Then cone version that was bought the star news and how Uggla some world consumption of vinyl gloves is estimated to jump more than 11%. To 330. Million pieces since he. The sad reality is nine million metric tons of plastic into the ocean every here. Inside since tell us that unless we change. The way reuse plastic. Within the decade for every three pounds of fish in the ocean there will be one pound of class. And now the EUS is planning to make even more plastic because we are building. I think crackers. To get back to it and I think cracker is an industrial plant that takes aim. The gas and then cracks that gas molecules into the basic compounds that make up plastic the American Chemistry Council says that 343. New plastic production plans and expansions are currently Herman and more planned in the United States and globally in the next five years the rate of plastic production. Has been projected to increase by a third. In five years in the and then by 2015. But is expected to triple bubbles a lot of plastic. So how and when we all seen pictures of oceans full plastic how do we say making more plastic isn't good. Well this is we talked about provide important benefits this light waiting or call worse. Aging through keeping its eight members residing we need an Ambien. Many of the proposed plants are in Ohio Kentucky and West Virginia and Pennsylvania new like royal Dutch Shell's new facility 25 miles northwest and Hedrick. It just thought that president company recently visited him. Our vote. In HTC report they say that the appellation petrochemical industry is going to create more than 68000. Direct and indirect jobs but 20/20 five. And plastic they say is a better alternative for shipping then class. We can't go back. Q alternative materials Libby alternative. Indication packaging would double greenhouse gas emissions environmentalists don't think that the benefits outweighed the other risks. This is the Petro chemical industry trying to save a fossil fuel industry. And states like Pennsylvania. Shockingly. Are subsidized in less. We look at the state of Pennsylvania created up to one point six billion dollars in tax incentives for I think cracker facility is like the one and Monica Pennsylvania. There acquire mid at least 2500. Construction jobs. There have been studies done on these new facilities their modern state of the art facility news. Date and it a. Aren't lower impact been ordered built in other parts of the world. I keep trying to say to myself somebody's gonna meet the plastic so it might as well be yes right better if we had real control over how it was disclosed them. And reducing shipping and growing local even if that growth is in plastic. But we have to do it that way and we have to do it well and it would actually have to Beers cycle. A plastic recycling rate is an anemic eat curse asked nationwide. My greatest fear is that. A number of these ethylene cracker facilities are built locking us in tube more fossil fuel use in more chemical use. The is anything cracker facilities. Almost always proposed in low income communities have collar. Need not to be constructed. The good news is that we don't encounter plastic pollution did not areas like the way doctor climate and hires. I think this is an issue that people really care about. Something that they can do at the local levels. Here's the simplest truth of this story nobody wants plastic in the ocean. France is looking to increase littering fines come back Hogan pollution the European Commission party hats some of the single use plastic stand despite pressures from lobbyists. And in Australia they came up with a really simple one and ask for all of last for anyone who tend to go plastic free in July. Are just still weak in July. Given up they say and be a part of the solution to plastic pollution. I'm to dizzy and I promise it's not too late. Gonna find those recycle bins for the gloves and the masks and not to scatter them on the streets are thanks to genders in different that.

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

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