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Plastics…….in the womb?

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In AWARE News Network
Mar 17th, 2024
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GREENPEACE

 

Did you hear that microplastics are being found in human placentas? That’s right, in a recent study, microplastics were found in every human placenta tested. The scientists analysed 62 placental tissue samples and found the most common plastic detected was polyethylene, which is used to make plastic bags and bottles. [1]

This, as well as noticing that the snow melted early only to reveal plastic pollution everywhere we look, leads us to reflect on the grim reality that the world’s plastic problem is more pervasive than we can fully grasp. Greenhouse gas emissions from single-use plastics in 2021 were equivalent to the total annual emissions of the ENTIRE United Kingdom (most of them coming from plastic production processes). [2] So not only is plastic a big problem from the very beginning of its own “life-cycle”, but it’s also polluting the very beginning of the human life cycle, in the womb.

Something that gives us some hope, however, is that from April 23-29, Ottawa will host the fourth of five UN negotiations for a Global Plastics Treaty. The clock is ticking but as host country, Canada now has the opportunity to get the talks back on track and focused on what is critical to secure an impactful treaty – cutting plastic production. I hope this gives you hope too.

For context, from the previous rounds of negotiations on the Global Plastics Treaty, it’s clear that oil-producing countries and Big Plastic are delaying and actively derailing the Global Plastics Treaty process. [3] But a good treaty is possible, as long as we put our voices together to be louder than Big Plastic ahead of April’s negotiations. From production to pollution, we must negotiate a treaty that truly matches the scale of the problem, tackling plastic at every stage of its lifecycle.

We’re tired of seeing these rounds of negotiations being derailed by the very people who are perpetuating the global plastic problem. Let’s make sure Canada leads in pushing a strong Global Plastics Treaty forward!

Sources:
[1] Microplastics found in every human placenta tested in study, Feb 27 2024, The Guardian
[2] Plastic Waste Makers Index 2023, 2023, Minderoo Foundation
[3] Fossil Fuel and Chemical Industries Registered More Lobbyists at Plastics Treaty Talks than 70 Countries Combined – Center for International Environmental Law, Nov 15 2023, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

Please sign and share this petition to call all on the Canadian government to champion a strong treaty: https://act.gp/3v8ptQx

 

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