After all those scary stories about microplastics (I think you don't need references on that one), I was surprised to discover plastic solutions being suggested, even promoted you can say, in environmental publications. Take this, for example. It praises polyethylene mulch! It sounded crazy to me, to apply plastic to soil on purpose. How is it a good idea, with microplastics getting into groundwater and so on (even with the fact that it keeps water from evaporating from soil better than organic alternatives)?
Then we have this thing called tire-derived aggregate, or TDA. I know about the environmental toll of sand extraction (TDA is supposed to be substituted for sand), but it can't be right that shredded tires spread over land is a green, sustainable alternative. Again, I suppose, it will degrade into microplastics and wreak colossal damage if this becomes a widespread practice. California's bluest greenest government doesn't seem to agree, mentioning some studies.
Even reusable plastic bags, if you think about it, will end up, sooner or later, in a landfill (that said, I personally do use reusable plastic bags sometimes). I know plastics emit relatively low quantities of GHG during the production phase (compared to paper bags, for instance), but you should consider the entire life cycle, right? So I wound up wondering, can plastics be sustainable after all (including its application to soil, in one form or another)?