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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: 2) by Gaaark on Friday March 22, @04:57PM (3 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Friday March 22, @04:57PM (#1349854) Journal

    The square reuseable bags i use are used often. According to 'below', i've used my bags enough to re-coupe(sp?) the plastic i used to use.

    Net profit? I think so... I'm STILL using them.

    We see less plastic bags floating around, or getting caught in bushes.
    I see this as a plus.

    "For a durable polypropylene bag to have the same climate impact as one thin, single-use plastic bag, it needs to be used an estimated 10 to 20 times, according to a 2020 report from the United Nations Environment Programme."
    --- https://canadianbusiness.com/design/reusable-grocery-bag-single-use-plastic-bag-ban-canada/ [canadianbusiness.com]

    I would very much like for grocery bags (thin and disposable or thick and reusable) to start being made of much more quickly biodegradable material, like 7 days in the sun turns them to dust. 12 hours in ordinary rainwater dissolves them. And the residual material is bio-available for (safe) digestion by common fungi, insects, birds, whatever.

    Yes. Yes, please.

    --
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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by hendrikboom on Friday March 22, @05:51PM (1 child)

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 22, @05:51PM (#1349863) Homepage Journal

    grocery bag should not decompose before I get my groceries home.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday March 22, @10:16PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday March 22, @10:16PM (#1349908)

      >grocery bag should not decompose before I get my groceries home.

      Absolutely agree... do you walk 12 hours in the rain while carrying your groceries? Seven days in the sun?

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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday March 22, @10:10PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday March 22, @10:10PM (#1349905)

    >We see less plastic bags floating around, or getting caught in bushes.

    I see this as the most significant plus.

    >For a durable polypropylene bag to have the same climate impact as one thin, single-use plastic bag, it needs to be used an estimated 10 to 20 times

    With, or without washing? What is the environmental impact of washing those bags? Labor cost? Associated costs when the bags aren't washed sufficiently?

    I'm not a fan of the thin baggies, but since COVID I have been a fan of home delivery of groceries, and there's argument to be made that having groceries delivered is much better for the environment overall - it's like carpooling for your food. Unfortunately Instacart drivers are more than a little random - some pack all your groceries in the (reused) spare cardboard, some buy (too many) paper bags, some buy premium plastic reusable bags for you... Maybe we'll get 'em trained, someday, but I expect this lack of control feeling is just like what the "bag overlords" feel when they try to convince shoppers to change their habits.

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