Global Support for a Strong Plastics Treaty

The results of this Greenpeace survey demonstrate that there is overwhelming public support for the Global Plastics Treaty to cut plastic production, end single-use plastics and advance reuse-based solutions. Conducted in 19 countries with over 19,000 respondents, the survey shows strong support for cutting the production of plastic, at over 8 in 10 people (82%1), and for protecting biodiversity and the climate by cutting plastics production (at 80%1). As many as 9 out of 10 people (90%2) support a transition away from single-use plastic packaging to reusable and refillable packaging, while 75%1 support a ban on single-use plastic. Likewise, 80% of people are concerned3 about the impacts of plastic on the health of their loved ones and 84% of parents are concerned about these impacts on the health of their children.

The high level of support for ambitious action on plastics is similar across all the countries surveyed, but particularly strong in most of the Global South countries where plastic pollution levels are higher. Support for all the statements was well above 50%, with the lowest percentage still at 60%1, in support of a statement that lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry and chemical industries should not be allowed to take part in negotiations, for the Global Plastics Treaty to be successful.

The overwhelming show of public support sends a strong message to the Governments negotiating the Global Plastics Treaty—the public expects political leaders to address pollution from the full life cycle of plastics, by cutting plastic production and banning single-use plastics. A failure to do so will carry political consequences.

  1. ‘Strongly agree’ and ‘Somewhat agree’ responses combined
  2. ‘Essential’, ‘Very important’, and ‘Fairly important’ responses combined
  3. ‘Very concerned’ and ‘Somewhat concerned’ responses combined

A site known as Fencelinedata.org shifts the balance of power from chemical producers to journalist, community members, and advocates that can hold them accountable.

This tool, a project of DataKind, Until Justice Data Partners, Material Research L3C, and Public Health Watch, represents a major advance in data accessibility: It makes multiple federal databases available in one place, allowing users to avoid government websites that can be difficult to navigate and interpret.

Find out which companies in your neighborhood are polluting and what harmful chemicals they are releasing into the environment. FencelineData.org provides facility-level information about environmental violations and toxic-chemical and greenhouse-gas pollution from tens of thousands of facilities that report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In an effort for industries to mitigate their contributions to climate change, the U.S. federal government has funded the development of a expensive and controversial technology to make doing so economically viable. But how viable, and safe, is this technology really?

The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) has gathered evidence to comprehensively educate both the public and decision-makers about the risks associated with this technology, known as Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration (CCS). With CCS, corporations emitting carbon dioxide capture, transport, and inject carbon underground, to store or use for industrial purposes. However, there are many risks associated with CCS that far outweigh the perceived benefits.

EIP has collected data on existing and proposed carbon dioxide pipelines in the USA, as well as information on abandoned oil and gas wells, and risk of carbon dioxide leaks. Its map overlays this information with community-level data, such as population, indications of tribal lands and other demographic information, and more.

BIPOC in ECJ is a searchable platform uniting diverse speakers, specialists, potential hires, board members, advisory group, and steering committee members of environmental justice.

BIPOC in ECJ, or “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in Environmental and Climate Justice”, serves as a directory for members of a diverse community involved in just environmental and climate justice, and other specialties.

In this database, those who wish to be involved can check the community calendar for events, future and past. Recruiters can submit a job description so they can get in touch with the best possible candidates. BIPOC in ECJ offers other helpful justice resources, including a blog, community calendar, and toolkit.

A critical issue from an occupational health perspective is how workers might be exposed to Nano- and microplastic particles (NMPPs). While much attention has focused on these plastic particles in water and food, less attention has been paid to their presence in the air. Thus, inhalation of NMPPs in the workplace should be a major concern.

Workplaces such as waste management and recycling operations could expose workers to NMPPs from the degradation of synthetic products. Office or telephone workers and custodial staff can be exposed with synthetic fibers from the carpet, along with many other professions who can be vulnerable to airborne NMPPs from the breakdown of plastic.

Inhaling NMPPs can lead to toxicity that is not yet labeled partly due to their complex chemical makeup, varied sizes, and frequent combination with other hazards, resulting in mixed exposures. It can lead to adverse health effects, especially effecting the lungs when inhaled.

Presently there are no occupational exposure limits for nano- and microplastics. In the absence of occupational exposure limits for nano- and microplastics workplace safety efforts should focus on minimizing potential exposure through appropriate engineering controls such as isolation cabinets, exhaust ventilation, and utilizing good industrial hygiene practices.

Learn why we must take action on climate change by taking action on plastic pollution in this one-pager prepared by Plastic Pollution Coalition. Made for sharing during the UN Plastics Treaty negotiations, and includes a link to a petition calling on the U.S. Government to take a stronger stance on this global agreement.