Plastic isn’t the problem, you are, says science writer Susan Freinkel. Freinkel argues that plastic could actually help save the environment — it takes less energy to produce than many other materials, it makes a lot of green tech possible, and it replaces materials that are “sustainable” only because they come from destroying animals or trees. We just have to start appreciating it and stop throwing it away.

The problem is our disposable culture, not what we’re disposing, says Freinkel. It’s not plastic’s fault that we compulsively toss out bags and bottles after a single use. That’s dumb, wasteful behavior no matter the material.

Read more:

Plastic: Too Good to Throw Away,” The New York Times