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

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.

The Center for Climate Integrity is a coalition steadfast on educating, communicating, and providing the public and policy makers information. They explain on why and how to hold companies accountable for the damage and deception they have caused. The site has a program of officials holding companies financially accountable for the climate change damage they produced.

The Center for Climate Integrity has launched a database of climate accountability lawsuits, outlining key trends and outcomes in the U.S.

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.

Plastics’ hormone-disrupting chemicals contribute substantially to disease and associated social costs in the United States, accounting for $250 billion in 2018 alone, or 1.22% of the gross domestic product. The costs of plastic pollution will continue to accumulate as long as exposures continue at current levels. Researchers stress that actions through the Global Plastics Treaty and other policy initiatives will reduce these costs in proportion to the actual reductions in chemical exposures achieved.

Experts assess the extent to which science is considered when formulating policies to address plastic pollution. They find that scientific evidence is generally present in the foundations of the legislation analyzed for the study. They stress that policymakers should take a precautionary approach to addressing this global issue.

Abstract: The intensive global plastic production, use and associated plastic pollution have caused concern for the potential risks to human health and the environment. This has led to the adoption of numerous regulatory initiatives aiming to combat plastic pollution. Despite the considerable regulatory activity in the field of plastic, it appears that there is still debate about the actual risks of plastic to humans and the environment. This raises the question of to what extent the current plastic regulation is evidence-based, a declared ambition in the European Union. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate to what extent key policy initiatives targeting plastic pollution are based on scientific evidence. Selection of initiatives was based on expert elicitation accounting for the opinions of persons involved in the development of the policy initiatives, and a thorough assessment of the historical development of plastic pollution regulation, with focus on their importance both with respect to regulation of plastics as well as their historical importance as drivers for societal actions on plastic pollution. We find that scientific evidence appears to be generally present in the scientific foundation for the policy initiatives analysed in this study. All the initiatives are supported by scientific articles and reports about among others plastic sources, ecological impacts of plastic production and consumption patterns. Marine litter monitoring data was found to contribute to the evidence base for 4 out of the 6 policy initiatives and thereby appears to be one of the central scientific drivers behind the societal actions on plastic pollution. Other scientific tools applied when shaping the policy initiatives include risk assessment, impact assessment and life cycle assessment. Despite the prevalent consideration and application of scientific evidence, there seems to be a broad recognition in the preparatory work of the initiatives that there is still a lot of uncertainty related to determining the harm of plastic pollution. In these cases, taking precautionary actions seems however to be justified, recalling not least the precautionary principle. As the issue of plastic pollution is complex and still subject to uncertainty, it seems important both that policy initiatives allow for flexibility and continuing adjustment to the on-going knowledge generation and that the scientific community provides the needed research to continue the science-informed policy development.