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Plastic

For Immediate Release

Attn: News & Environment Editors
January 17, 2021
Contacts: Pamela Miller, pamela@akaction.org.org
Sara Brosché, PhD, sarabrosche@ipen.org
@ToxicsFree

 

U.N. Expert Committee Acts on Hazardous Chemicals in Plastics

(Gothenburg, Sweden) A U.N. expert committee to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) has evaluated two chemical additives to plastics and determined that only one qualifies to move forward in the process to be listed for global elimination under the Stockholm Convention.

The committee failed to reach a consensus that the flame retardant the chemical Dechlorane plus (DP) is likely, as a result of its long-range environmental transport, to lead to significant adverse human health and environmental effects, such that global action is warranted. DP is an example of a substance that never should have been produced as it is a slight modification of mirex – one of the original dirty dozen substances listed in the Convention. It has been produced since the 1960s and used in plastics for computers and televisions, coatings for wires and cables, and polyurethane foam. It has been found in human milk, serum, and cord blood and can cause neurotoxicity, liver impairment, and endocrine disruption.

“We are appalled that the Committee allowed a few individuals to de-rail progress toward elimination of this dangerous chemical and failed to consider properly the body of evidence on its adverse effects. It is critical that the global community swiftly eliminates the manufacturing and use of this dangerous chemical. Dechlorane plus is currently marketed as a replacement for the flame retardant decaBDE and as a substitute for mirex. This is a stark example of a regrettable, ill-advised substitution. Studies show rising levels of DP, perhaps indicating that DP is being increasingly used as a replacement for decaBDE. DP threatens the development and health of our next generations and concerted international action must be taken to prevent further harm,” said Pamela Miller, IPEN Co-Chair and Executive Director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics. The Committee will re-evaluate Dechlorane plus at its next meeting in September 2021.

Although there are thousands of individual chemicals that can be described as EDCs, they fall into seven broad categories. This brief discusses what each group is, how people can be exposed, and the health impacts.

Results of a second investigation on the contents of phthalic plasticizers in the yellow rubber ducky

Report by Toxics Free Corps, China, in Chinese: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/VU1uMImC6ABmZ8wr3szlKA

A container full of imported plastic waste is inspected by the local environment office at the Batu Ampar port in Indonesia on June 15, 2019.
Photographer: Andaru/AFP via Getty Images

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/environment-and-energy/eu-moves-to-ban-cer...

The European Union plans to go further than an international treaty in restricting exports of plastic waste, potentially spelling problems for the bloc in dealing with hard-to-recycle material.

This project relates to Sustainable Development Goals #3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. Special thanks to IPEN's Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia (EECCA) Regional Coordinator Dr. Olga Speranskaya and EECCA Regional Hub Eco-Accord for their important contributions to the development and finalization of the project.

An international group of 33 world-renowned scientists published today a peer-reviewed consensus statement on the impact of food contact chemicals on human health and recommended improvements of the assessment of chemicals in a health-protective way [1]. Civil society groups from Europe, the U.S.

https://www.bbc.com/bengali/news-51282897?SThisFB&fbclid=IwAR2ToKmBAxpwg...

বাংলাদেশের রাজধানী ঢাকা সিটি কর্পোরেশন নির্বাচনে প্রচারণার জন্য প্রথম বারো দিনে প্রায় ২৫০০ টন প্লাস্টিক বর্জ্য উৎপন্ন হয়েছে।

প্রতিযোগী প্রার্থীরা তাদের পোস্টার, লিফলেট এবং কর্মীদের পরিচয়পত্রের জন্য এসব প্লাস্টিক ব্যবহার করেছেন।

https://www.sixthtone.com/news/1005094/china-intensifies-campaign-agains...

Though experts describe the new policy as a “milestone,” they also believe encouraging the use of biodegradable plastics is equally damaging to the environment.

Li You

China plans to ban the production of certain single-use plastic items by the end of this year to curb the amount of waste clogging the country’s landfills and waterways.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/19/world/asia/indonesia-dioxin-plastic-tofu.html

New York Times

The Indonesian government pushed back on an international study that found high levels of dioxin in a village where plastic is burned to produce tofu.

By Richard C. Paddock

 

IPEN’s Toxic Plastics video provides a quick and accessible overview about how toxic chemicals in plastics threaten human and environmental health throughout the plastic life-cycle, from petrochemical production through disposal. Most plastics are not recyclable, but new plastic products made from recycled plastics can contain a toxic soup of dangerous chemicals. Landfills leech toxic chemicals into soils and groundwater. Incineration creates toxic pollution, including dioxins. Exporting plastic waste is poisoning poor communities around the world. View and share the video in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, and then find IPEN research and reports for a deeper dive.

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