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The Hidden Hazard of Toxic Additives in Plastics Impacts a Circular Economy
Although plastics pollution is getting more of the attention it has long deserved, often lost in the discussion are the toxic additives that contaminate plastic products, leach into food webs and the environment, and persist in recycling streams. Without addressing the harms created by these toxic additives, the prospect of achieving a safe circular economy is greatly hindered.
Plastic’s Toxic Additives and the Circular Economy, a new report developed in collaboration with multiple UN convention groups, technical experts, and organizations working to address pollution, discusses the key challenges society faces to eliminate toxic components in the plastics life-cycle, identifies chemicals and sectors of greatest concern, and outlines key approaches for tackling the issues.
The size of the chemicals industry is forecast to double in the next decade and new plastics are expected to double by 2040. The current linear economic model (extract, make, use, dispose) has evident negative impacts. This report examines the problems, principles, and choices that we face when dealing with the legacy of plastic waste and the toxic chemicals they contain, and reimagining a safer, more sustainable future.