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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

marine litter

UN meeting gives countries the right to refuse unrecyclable, polluting plastics

(Geneva, Switzerland): Governments at the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) of the Basel Convention acted to restrict rampant plastic waste exports by requiring countries to obtain prior informed consent before exporting contaminated or mixed plastic waste. A deluge of plastic waste exports from developed countries has polluted developing countries in Southeast Asia after China closed the door to waste imports in 2018.

Basel COP14

Norwegian Proposal to Amend the Annexes to the Basel Convention (español / English / français / العربية )

For the Basel COP14, Norway proposed amendments to the annexes to the Basel Convention to bring problematic plastic waste streams within the scope and control of the Convention.

(español / 中文 / English / عربى / русский / français)

In the run-up to the Basel Convention's 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14), IPEN worked with Basel Action Network (BAN) to complete a "Quick Views" document that addresses some issues that will be discussed at tthe COP14. These include marine litter and microplastics; financial resources; compliance; e-waste guidelines; POPs waste; technical guidelines on incineration, engineered landfill, hazardous waste physico-chemical treatment and biological treatment; and more.

The Views document can be read here and on IPEN's page for the Stockholm Convention's COP9, which has additional information about IPEN activities and publications related to the Basel and Rotterdam conferences.

Environmental Health News

https://www.ehn.org/plastic-pollution-and-human-health-2629322391.html

"Every stage of the plastic lifecycle poses significant risks to human health, and the majority of people worldwide are exposed to plastic at multiple stages of this lifecycle."

Press Release / Full Report / Executive Summary

Washington, DC—A new report released today reveals that plastic is a human health crisis hiding in plain sight. Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet, authored by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Earthworks, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), IPEN, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.), University of Exeter, and UPSTREAM, brings together research that exposes the distinct toxic risks plastic poses to human health at every stage of the plastic lifecycle, from extraction of fossil fuels, to consumer use, to disposal and beyond.

To date, research into the human health impacts of plastic have focused narrowly on specific moments in the plastic lifecycle, often on single products, processes, or exposure pathways. This approach fails to recognize that significant, complex, and intersecting human health impacts occur at every stage of the plastic lifecycle: from wellhead to refinery, from store shelves to human bodies, and from waste management to ongoing impacts of microplastics in the air, water, and soil. Plastic & Health presents the full panorama of human health impacts of plastic and counsels that any solution to the plastic crisis must address the full lifecycle.

According to the report, uncertainties and knowledge gaps often impede regulation and the ability of consumers, communities, and policymakers to make informed decisions. However, the full scale of health impacts throughout plastic’s lifecycle are overwhelming and warrant a precautionary approach. 

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