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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, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 22, @07:45PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 22, @07:45PM (#1349887)

    > the alternative bags get dirty, need washing, eventually replacing,

    The single-use plastic bag ban came here in 2020 but was encouraged long before that. For the first year or two we washed the reusable bags, but haven't bothered since. If some onion skin or other fluff collects I turn them inside out and shake outdoors. We're still using the same bags, most were free trade show swag. They are a mix of different materials, some approaching 10 years old, a big savings in plastic. They live in the car and it's now second nature to grab them when walking into the store.

    Oddly enough, relatives in another state with no ban accumulate a large number of single use plastic grocery bags. We take some off their hands when we visit (a few times/year) to use for our trash (we don't buy plastic trash bags). Our trash is approximately thirds - compost, recycling & landfill.

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Friday March 22, @10:19PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday March 22, @10:19PM (#1349910)

    Where I live, we already have cockroaches in the paper bags before you ever put food in them.

    Leaving bits of any kind of food in the bags invites ants, roaches, and other things to visit on a regular basis.

    If they happen to stay damp on an unfortunate evening when the mold spores are abundant, then you get nice black patches wherever spore-meets-water.

    🌻🌻 []