NGO: Plastic Production Endangers Chemical Safety

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), an umbrella organization founded in 2004 has published a report ‘Turning the Plastic Tide’ that contains current data and facts on the problem of plastic. The authors find that if the production of plastic continues as it has, all the efforts of the EU to protect people and the environment from dangerous chemicals will come to naught.

In a press release launched in tandem with the report, the NGO called upon the EU to recognize this reality in its chemical strategy for greater sustainability. The strategy that is expected in the autumn holds a key role in the context of the Green Deal. The strategy could have the same ground-breaking consequences as the implementation of REACH in 2006.

The recycling of waste is a central component of sustainability. According to the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (German only), the rate of recycling in Germany is 46% and is slightly lower globally. According to the HEAL report, 79% of the more than 6 billion tons of plastic waste created in 2015 ended up in landfills or the environment. Some 12% was incinerated, and only 9% was recycled.

At the end of the report, the authors call upon regulatory agencies to pay particular attention to limiting the use of substances of very high concern and plastic additives and advancing the use of substitutes.

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