Ocean Plastics

World leaders urged to slash plastic production as Global Plastics Treaty negotiations begin

Today the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations begin at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi. Environmental NGOs Common Seas, Break Free From Plastic and Plastic Health Council welcomed international delegates with a billboard in Nairobi airport calling on them to take the issue of plastic and human health seriously. This comes as research by Common Seas found three in four people tested had plastic in their blood.

13/11/2023
Written by Oceanographic Staff
Photographs by Alex Mustard, The Ocean Agency, Sören Funk, and Naja Bertolt Jensen

As the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations begin at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi today, world leaders have been urged to slash plastic production in a bid to protect human health.

Led by Common Seas in collaboration with the Plastic Health Council and Break Free From Plastic, a billboard campaign in Terminal 1A of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi is asking delegates at INC-3 to ensure a robust UN Treaty protects human health.

As delegates begin the third round of negotiations for the UN Plastics Treaty in Nairobi, leading environmental organisations have left a stark welcome message for world leaders.

Placed strategically in the route international attendees will take, the billboard includes an image of a human blood bag with the message that ‘plastic is in our blood’.

Last year Common Seas research found that nearly 80% of people tested had plastic particles in their blood.

Each day we’re all exposed to plastic, which have been found in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. Our bodily exposure is set to increase as global production of plastic is on course to double by 2040 – making this a public health risk that must be immediately addressed.

This week INC-3 discussions will see hundreds of countries negotiate to reach a consensus on the draft context of the UN Plastic Treaty. The policies they will debate have the potential to be strong, but the use of ‘either/or’ risk creating weak policy options.

Environmental organisations, including Break Free From Plastic and the Plastic Health Council, are therefore urging delegates to meet with the responsibility to mandate plastic production and protect our bodies from further exposure with a rigorous, legally binding treaty.

Jo Royle, CEO of Common Seas, said: “Plastic is infiltrating our bodies, our veins, our blood and our hearts. The Global Plastics Treaty must act as an international mandate for decisive, definitive research on plastic and health.

“At INC-2 in Paris, delegates sat for four days throughout the negotiating procedure and made little progress. The treaty now has very few remaining negotiating days left and we need to make the most of them. Without ambitious progress, our health will continue to be at risk.

“In Nairobi, as delegates arrive and see our billboard, we hope they feel the need to push for a robust, legally binding treaty that protects our health.”

Manado, Indo

“Plastic is inescapable, omnipresent in our lives, and so are the chemical additives and particles that come with it,” added Sian Sutherland, co-founder of the Plastic Health Council.

“We are breathing, drinking and eating plastic every day. It is a material that is not on the periodic table. It is a blend of chemicals; some of them deemed toxic by health scientists. No more research and facts are needed to irrefutably prove these chemicals are bad for us,” she continued.

 

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Written by Oceanographic Staff
Photographs by Alex Mustard, The Ocean Agency, Sören Funk, and Naja Bertolt Jensen

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