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Dangers from Plastic recycling
News: A recent report by Greenpeace Philippines titled 'Forever Toxic: The science on health threats from plastic recycling' was published which suggested that recycling may not be the solution to Plastic Pollution as it is often believed to be.
Recycled plastics often contain higher levels of chemicals such as toxic flame retardants, benzene and other Carcinogens.
With an increase in plastic stockpiles, the risk of large fires at recycling facilities has gone up, especially in those that hold e-waste plastics with used batteries.
Plastic production is forecast to triple by 2060, with only a minimal increase in recycling predicted. Only 9% of plastic is recycled but even they end up with higher concentrations of toxic chemicals, multiplying their potential harm to human, animal and environmental health.
Plastic production, disposal and incineration facilities are most often located in low-income, marginalized communities across the world, which suffer from higher rates of Cancer, Lung Disease and adverse birth outcomes associated with their exposure to the toxic chemicals.
Plastics have no place in a circular economy and the only real solution to ending plastic pollution is to massively reduce plastic production.
There is a need for an ambitious, legally binding Global Plastics Treaty that accelerates and provides the conditions needed for a just transition away from dependence on plastic.
Steps taken in India to minimize Plastic waste/usage:
Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022; Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR); National Dashboard on Elimination of Single Use Plastic and Plastic Waste Management; India Plastics Pact and Project REPLAN.