supply chains / story

Months after residents sound the alarm, Pennsylvania ‘cracks’ down on Shell plant

Shell to pay $10 million to Pennsylvania for exceeding emissions limits during the troubled start-up of its massive new plastics plant. The new ethane ‘cracker’ officially switched on last November. The cracker plant had a series of malfunctions this spring, as residents and activists pressed the Department of Environmental Protection to step in. Published in partnership with NBC News.

Photo illustration: Leila Register for NBC News / Katarina Sabados for Global Reporting Centre

Supply Chains / story

The new steel?

This feature story gets a first-hand account from people who see the economic opportunity of a new plastics complex — as well as those who “fear a return to a toxic past for a product the world needs less of.”

Written by Hannah Rappleye with the Investigative Unit at NBC News.

Photo: Hannah Rappleye / NBC News

Supply Chains / Explainer

The house that plastic built

Our world is flooded with cheap subsidized plastic. How did we get here? A look back at the history of a now-indispensable industry.

This was an honourable mention for the DPA for Best Science & Technology Storytelling.

Animation: Esther Cheung