BDN interviews Dixon about reducing plastic use

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Daniel Dixon, director of the Office of Sustainability and research assistant professor in the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, about how to reduce plastic use. Purchasing reusable items in lieu of disposable ones can help decrease plastic consumption, but Dixon said they must be used carefully to ensure they maintain a long lifespan.

“Reusable items actually take up a lot more energy to produce than the plastic itself [and] if that energy is coming from fossil fuels, then you haven’t done the environment any favors,” he said. Removing single-use plastics by replacing them with reusable products, however, can still help decrease pollution that harms wildlife, particularly in marine environments. “To reduce the plastic that’s flowing around as trash in the ocean, there’s no argument to be had there,” Dixon said. “We have to stop using plastic, period. It’s a scourge on the environment and it’s going to end up poisoning us all. I think from that point of view reusable items do make sense. Energy-wise, not so much.”