Amsterdam-based global campaigning network Greenpeace has released a report warning about the dangers of recycled plastic. The report states that recycled plastics end up with higher concentrations of toxic chemicals, increasing their potential harm to human, animal, and environmental health. This revelation comes as negotiations for an international plastics treaty are underway. Greenpeace emphasizes that recycled plastic is not a viable solution to environmental pollution.
Recycled Plastics More Toxic than Original Parts
The Greenpeace report cites various studies that demonstrate how recycled plastics are more toxic than their original components. Plastics are deemed “inherently incompatible with a circular economy,” according to the report. This finding raises concerns about the effectiveness of plastic recycling efforts and their impact on the environment.
Microplastic Pollution Introduced through Plastic Recycling
Research has shown that the process of breaking down plastics for recycling leads to the introduction of microplastics into the environment. This further exacerbates the issue of microplastic pollution, which poses significant risks to ecosystems and organisms. The presence of microplastics in water bodies, soil, and wildlife has raised alarm worldwide.
International Plastics Treaty Negotiations
Representatives from 173 nations are currently engaged in negotiations for an international plastics treaty. The treaty aims to address the entire lifecycle of plastics, from production to disposal. However, there have been concerns that the negotiations exclude marginalized waste pickers and communities from developing countries who are directly affected by plastic waste dumping and burning.
Greenpeace’s report serves as a reminder of the need to critically assess recycling practices and develop comprehensive strategies to tackle plastic pollution. It emphasizes the importance of reducing plastic production and finding alternatives that align with a circular economy model.
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