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August 26, 2022

Plastics are everywhere - they're in the favorite electronic devices, they package the food and insulate the homes. Today, the total mass of plastic is twice the total mass of all living organisms on the planet, and it's starting to change the processes that allow the Earth's climate system to work. Plastic pollution researcher Patricia Villarrubia-Gómez breaks down the consequences of producing all of this plastic at every stage, from fossil fuel extraction to the disposal of single-use plastics in landfills and oceans. The first step to breaking free of the plastic problem is admitting we have one.

Countdown is TED's global initiative to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. The goal: to build a better future by cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, in the race to a zero-carbon world. Get involved at countdown.ted.com/sign-up

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Watch more: go.ted.com/patriciavillarrubiagomez

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