First of all, plastic is made from non-renewable energy sources, such as petroleum and natural gas, that emit greenhouse gas (GHG). Producing 1 kilogram of plastic releases 6 kilograms of carbon dioxide (C02) into the air! And since Americans drink water from 50 billion plastic bottles a year, we're leaving a MASSIVE carbon footprint on the planet!
In 2019, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and the University of Santa Barbara estimated 860 million to 1.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, most of which are from fossil fuels used in making plastic. It's suffocating to even think about how much air pollution and climate change that causes.
Second, plastic is not entirely recyclable. We can only reproduce plastic into a lesser-quality item that doesn't serve its original purpose (e.g., single-use plastic water bottles are downcycled into fiber instead of recycled into a new bottle) until it becomes waste.
Also, we're not very fond of recycling plastic. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. recycled only 8.7% of used plastic.
Third, even if we were a fan of recycling plastic, the idea of endlessly doing it is a fantasy. Used plastic is often thrown in landfills, incinerators, and even the ocean, making it harmful to marine life. Have you seen some footage of those poor seals and sea turtles that barely survive after ingesting plastic?