PLAYA DEL REY, Calif. – The state of California is suing an oil company as it investigates the cause of what officials are calling a plastic pollution crisis.
With Playa del Rey as the sunny beach backdrop, California Attorney General Rob Bonta said his office will subpoena ExxonMobil. Bonta said that for decades the oil industry deliberately misled the public about the dangers of plastic and falsely claimed the materials could primarily be recycled.
Bonta said more than 3 million tons of plastic are produced each year, eventually breaking down into tiny plastic particles.
What he said next put it into perspective.
“Each week, we consume the equivalent of a plastic credit card through the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe. Each of us consumes over 40 pounds of plastic in the course of his life,” Bonta said.
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Part of the attorney general’s goal is to force companies to clean up their trash, which costs the state about $500 million a year. So far, ExxonMobil and the Western Plastics Association have not commented on this story.