La injusticia económica del plástico

"La injusticia económica del plástico" - Van Jones (12:50)
I am honored to be here, and I'm honored to talk about this topic, which I think is of grave importance. We've been talking a lot about thehorrific impacts of plastic on the planet and on other species, but plastic hurts people too, especially poor people. And both in the production of plastic, the use of plastic and the disposal ofplastic, the people who have bull's-eye on their foreheads are poor people. People got very upset when the BP oil spill happened for very good reason. People thought about, "Oh, my God. This is terrible,this oil. It's in the water. It's going to destroy the living systems there. People are going to be hurt. This is a terrible thing, that the oil is going to hurt the people in the Gulf."

Whatpeople don't think about is what if the oil had made it safely to shore. What if the oil actually got where it was trying to go? Not only would it have been burned in engines and added to global warming,but there's a place called "cancer alley", and the reason it's called "cancer alley" is because the petrochemical industry takes that oil and turns it into plastic and, in the process, kills people.It shortens the lives of the people who live there in the Gulf. So oil and petrochemicals are not just a problem when there's a spill, they're a problem when there's not. And what we don't oftenappreciate is the price that poor people pay for us to have these disposable products.

The other thing that we don't often appreciate is it's not just at the point of production that poor people suffer.Poor people also suffer at the point of use. Those of us who earn a certain income level, we have something called choice. The reason why you want to work hard and have a job and not be poor and brokeis so you can have choices, economic choices. We actually get a chance to choose not to use products that have dangerous, poisonous plastic in them. Other people who are poor don't have those...