Over the past few decades, the massive production of plastics worldwide has posed a real threat to the existence and well-being of all living creatures. This virtually uncontrollable rise in the use of plastics is a matter of serious concern to health professionals, environmentalists and biodiversity advocates. In Cameroon, the issue is just as pressing, and requires special attention from all stakeholders.
A new report from Beyond Plastics and IPEN debunks the plastic industry’s claims that chemical recycling, also known as “advanced recycling,” will play a significant role in reducing global plastic pollution. In fact, the science and data outlined show that chemical recycling has failed for decades and will not contribute significantly to resolving the plastics crisis.
The ongoing negotiation and framing of the future Plastics Treaty is an opportunity to address and protect human health and the environment from the harmful effects of plastics throughout their life cycle. This will require strong, legally binding control provisions that call for the elimination of toxic chemicals throughout the life cycle of plastics and mandatory, publicly available, and accessible disclosure of information on chemicals used in plastics.
Study finds plastic toys from 10 countries have high levels of toxic chlorinated paraffins
Saturday, 21 October 2023
High levels of chemicals in several toys could qualify them as hazardous waste
A study released today by IPEN and its members from ten countries reveals that shockingly high levels of the toxic chemicals chlorinated paraffins are common in children’s plastic toys. All thirty-one toys tested for the study were found to contain the harmful chemicals, which are linked to cancer, damage to developing brains, endocrine disruption, damage to the liver and kidneys, and threats to reproductive health.
The toys were purchased in Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Malaysia, Mali, Philippines, Uganda, and USA. All toys tested contained both short- and medium-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs and MCCPs), even though SCCPs were banned globally under the Stockholm Convention in 2017. MCCPs are currently under evaluation for a potential global ban and evidence shows they are equally harmful and warrant the same action. Several toys contained levels of SCCPs above the current proposals to limit amounts of the chemical in hazardous waste, meaning the toys could be considered hazardous waste under health-protective guidelines.
“We were very disturbed to find that our children’s toys contain these highly toxic chemicals. Many plastics contain toxic chemicals, and our study shows these chemicals can make their way into our homes in products our children and families use,” said Mme. Kouyaté Goundo Sissoko from ONG Appui pour la Valorisation et la Promotion des Initiatives Privées (ONG AVPIP] in Mali. “Industry must end their use of toxic chemicals in plastics. Our children deserve safe toys.”
The third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3) to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, is scheduled to take place from 13 to 19 November 2023 at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The session will be preceded by regional consultations on 12 November 2023.
The Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Review Committee (POPRC) is a subsidiary body to the Stockholm Convention established for reviewing chemicals proposed for global regulation. The 19th meeting of POPRC will convene in Rome this October 9-13.