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posted by hubie on Friday March 22, @02:02PM   Printer-friendly

More than 400 of the chemicals identified are in every major commonly used plastic product such as food packaging:

Scientists have compiled a list of over 16,000 chemicals present in plastic products and found that more than 4,000 of these were hazardous to human health and the environment.

The research review, known as the PlastChem report, was released on Thursday and comes ahead of the next round of negotiations for a UN treaty on global plastic pollution.

Researchers, who spent a year combing through research reports, sorted chemicals used in plastics based on their environmental and health effects – information the team hopes will inform governmental regulations and international negotiations to curb plastic use.

The review found that there are more plastic chemicals than previously known, and 4,200 (26 per cent) of these compounds, including those used as raw ingredients, stabilisers and colourants, are of concern due to their "persistent, bioaccumulative, mobile and/or toxic" nature.

[...] More than 400 of the chemicals identified in the report are in every major commonly used plastic product such as food packaging, and all the tested plastics leached hazardous chemicals into the environment, researchers noted.

[...] While about 1,000 plastic chemicals are regulated by global treaties such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, thousands more are not.

[...] "The PlastChem report is a wake-up call to policymakers and industry. We need more transparency and better management of chemicals of concern in plastic," Hans Peter Arp, a co-author of the report from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), said.

"The future of innovation in plastic should focus on safety, sustainability, and necessity, rather than just functionality," Dr Arp said.


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 22, @03:50PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 22, @03:50PM (#1349839)

    In my city, they recently banned plastic grocery bags. So now you need to have cloth bags, or maybe bags in dead tree format, or something else.

    In Canada the federal government banned "single-use" plastic grocery bags and so most supermarkets now sell much more substantial "reusable" plastic grocery bags at the cash (usually in the form of some sort of cloth made from plastic fibres). I have my doubts that this policy actually achieves any meaningful reduction in plastic usage whatsoever.

    And even better, now we're all fighting in the courts over whether the federal government even has the constitutional authority to enact such a ban (seems very possible they don't) which just feels like such a massive waste of everyone's time and energy when we should be trying to solve real problems like the fact that more and more of the country is literally on fire.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Gaaark on Friday March 22, @04:34PM (3 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Friday March 22, @04:34PM (#1349851) Journal

    I've started using the reusable bags (the square ones with the fold down bottom); i don't miss plastic bags at all.

    Wendy's use to have paper cups: since the ban, they've switched to plastic cups with plastic tops. Not sure why... but ........why?

    I like A&W; real glass mugs (i bought one for use at home) if eating out ...and hot sauce for fries! And burgers wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun!

    I like paper straws. I like reusable bags. I use a big 'protein shake' shaker for drinking tap water (my wife grew up drinking well water, so she hates tap water...understandable...)

    I think less plastic is good.

    I think clowns aren't creepy at all. Except for Ronald McDonald... he pushes small, crappy, over-priced burgers with tons of waste.

    Boo, ...boo Ronald!

    Boo to you as well, Hamburgler... wherever you are, you big purple Barney wannabe....

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Deep Blue on Friday March 22, @10:10PM

      by Deep Blue (24802) on Friday March 22, @10:10PM (#1349904)

      I've carried a reusable grocery bag (the same) for couple of decades. I won't buy plastic grocery bags. But i will not pay for bags for fruit and stuff, so if that is mandated here, i won't get fruits. We have these compostable bags for fruit in stores for free, which i use, although i hear they aren't that compostable. Hopefully they'll get better.

      Also paper straws suck. They taste strongly like paper and they get mushy fast. Not acceptable. If i want a paper tasting soft drink or a milkshake, i'll order a paper tasting soft drink or a milkshake.

      I do not like plastic all that much. Metal is what i like, as a material and music. Plastic has to be used more responsibly and it needs to be collected and recycled, not thrown on the ground. Unfortunately the cat is already out of the plastic bag (not a fan of cats either. Not all the fault is cats', it's the owners who do not act responsibly even with them) and less developed countries will continue to garbage the world even if more developed countries get their shit in order. That's just the way it is.

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Sunday March 24, @01:56PM (1 child)

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Sunday March 24, @01:56PM (#1350098) Homepage Journal

      When I bought my car last year, the dealer threw in a half dozen Hyundai-branded plastic bags. So I figure I got a free car but the bags cost $40,000.

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org