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Ethane, a byproduct of natural gas extraction, is used in ethylene production, the primary feedstock for plastic manufacturing. Steven Feit, an attorney in the Climate and Energy Program of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and coauthor on their “Fueling Plastics” investigative series, explains how the U.S. fracking boom is now targeting ethane as a separate commodity, leading to an expansion of infrastructure along the fossil fuel to plastics supply chain. He encourages a collaboration among organizations to include the entire plastic lifecycle when addressing health and environmental impacts.

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