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Plastics & Environmental Justice: What’s Next for the Global Treaty?

November 1, 2023 , 12:00 pm 1:00 pm EDT

The process of developing a global agreement on plastics was initiated by the United Nations Environment Assembly in 2022, and negotiations are underway. The third meeting negotiating the outlines of an International Plastics Treaty will take place in Nairobi in mid-November.

Production of plastics has increased more than tenfold since 1970, faster than the growth rate of any other group of bulk materials. More than 400 million metric tons of plastic were produced in 2020, and by some estimates that number may double by 2040. The volume of current and planned plastics production poses a serious threat to public health and the environment across the globe. Many chemicals used in plastics have adverse human health effects.

In this webinar, Yvette Arellano of Fenceline Watch will share the organization’s work to protect communities in and near Houston, Texas, by reducing exposure to chemicals released during the plastics production cycle. Yvette will also highlight the disproportionate harms of plastic to environmental justice communities at the fenceline of plastics production facilities, and share reflections on what a successful plastics treaty would look like for these communities.

Sirine Rached of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) will examine how the lifecycle health impacts of plastics are addressed in the “Zero Draft” of the treaty, which will be the framework under discussion at the Nairobi meeting. She will also share perspectives on the recently released Nordic Council of Ministers report, Toward Ending Plastic Pollution in 2040.

This webinar will be moderated by Sharyle Patton, Director of the Biomonitoring Resource Center and member of the CHE Advisory Team.

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