World Health Assembly adopts resolution on chemicals, waste, and pollution

Resolution calls on World Health Organization Member States to increase work on potential human health impacts of plastics, links between chemical exposures, and health; recognizes people are exposed to many chemicals but majority have not been well studied

Biodegradable polyactic acid does not degrade in marine environment, study finds

Scientists test polylactic acid (PLA) plastic advertised as biodegradable along with standard polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics for degradation in real marine environment; no signs of degradation found after 428 days; researchers say biodegradable might be misleading term

NGO calls out top 12 PFAS producers

ChemSec reports on societal costs of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution; estimates costs of 16 trillion euros per year; says producers and investors need to take responsibility

UNEP: Over 3000 chemicals of concern in plastics

Technical report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) informs about “chemical-related issues of plastic pollution and options to address them”; finds 13,000 chemicals present in plastic; 7,000 have hazard data of which 3,200 are chemicals of concern; outlines chemical groups, use sectors of concern, human and ecosystem exposure, gaps and improvement options including substitution and waste management in a circular economy

Report outlines how plastic production harms human health, environment, economy

Minderoo-Monaco Commission on Plastics and Human Health publishes extensive report summarizing plastics’ effects across life cycle on human health, environment, and the economy; health effects cost society hundreds of billions every year; report includes actions for “governments and industries to minimize the negative consequences of global plastic contamination”

Forever Pollution Project maps Europe’s PFAS contamination

Media collaboration evaluates Europe’s contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); maps 17,000 known and 21,000 presumed contamination sites; ChemSec launches PFAS guide for companies

Developing the science-policy panel on chemicals and pollution

National delegations meet in Thailand to discuss the objectives and responsibilities of the new science-policy panel on chemicals, waste, and pollution prevention; in run up to the meeting group of chemical pollution scientists publish article highlighting ten aspects for delegates to consider; non-profit academic organization International Panel on Chemical Pollution hosts webinar on conflicts of interest in chemicals and waste governance

What should be included in UN Plastics Treaty negotiations?

International negotiators prepare for first meeting to negotiate the UN treaty to end plastic pollution; scientists, civil society organizations, and governmental bodies publish reports proposing suggestions for what and how to negotiate; many reports support including controls on chemical additives as part of the treaty

Wrestling with the externalities of the plastics supply chain

As the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee of the UN Global Treaty to End Plastic Pollution approaches, publications highlight the diverse effects the plastics supply chain has on human health and the environment, particularly the burden on vulnerable communities

Plastics in a circular economy: research status, environmental leakage, food safety hazards

Recent studies perform semi-systematic review of published circular economy literature focusing on plastics over past 21 years, develop framework for plastics in circular economy; find Dutch food packaging plastic waste polluting oceans, question effectiveness of recycling; summarize chemical and microbial hazards related to circular food production systems