Material Research Atlas of Toxic Chemical Production

Material Research L3C has launched an interactive website, materialresearch.world, which features a Global Atlas of toxic chemical production facilities and links to groundbreaking reports about them.

Founded in 2019, Material Research works with reporters, NGOs and community leaders to fill gaps in understanding toxic and unjust supply chains.

“Our mission is to gather and deliver information that unites communities around the world against toxic pollution and other injustices,” said Jim Vallette, president of the charitable and educational “low-profit” (L3C) company based in Southwest Harbor, Maine.

The Material Research Atlas of Toxic Chemical Manufacturing identifies 465 factories that it has investigated with its partners. For U.S. facilities, it provides links to greenhouse gas, toxic chemical and other EPA records and related reports.  Material Research developed the Atlas with the support of the Geographic Information Systems Laboratory at College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine.

Vallette has noted that the Atlas is a precursor to a larger open access data initiative under development by the company and other partners.

Material Research World also features a Resources page, with links to dozens of reports by leading environmental and human rights organizations and news outlets.

Environment and Human Health, Inc. (EHHI), a non-profit organization of physicians and public health professionals, is releasing its newly published research report on the dangers of plastics and microplastics to the environment and to health. The report calls for sweeping policy initiatives that need to be enacted by international, federal, state, and city governments, as well as calling on corporations to institute new policies that will better protect the public from harmful plastic and microplastic exposures.

The Changing Markets Foundation has published 6 reports that together reveal the interconnections between fast-fashion, fossil fuels, plastics, injustice, and pollution. The reports include:

  • Synthetics Anonymous 2.0: Fashion’s persistent plastic problem (December 2022)
  • Dressed to Kill: Fashion brands’ hidden links to Russian oil in a time of war (November 2022)
  • Licence to Greenwash: How certification schemes and voluntary initiatives are fuelling fossil fashion (March 2022)
  • A New Look for the Fashion Industry: EU Textile Strategy and the Crucial Role of Extended Producer Responsibility (March 2022)
  • Synthetics Anonymous: fashion brands’ addiction to fossil fuels (June 2021)
  • Fossil fashion: the hidden reliance of fast fashion on fossil fuels (February 2022)

“Advanced recycling” is not a solution to plastic pollution and isn’t measuring up to industry promises. And by definition, “advanced recycling” is not really recycling at all. Instead, it’s a strategy for fossil fuel and plastic industries to continue delaying real action on plastics. Loopholes, Injustice, & the “Advanced Recycling” Myth Report shows how plastics and fossil fuel industry lobbyists — primarily the American Chemistry Council — work to pressure state legislators to pass laws containing loopholes enabling “advanced recycling,” and perpetuating plastic pollution and injustice.

The Plastiverse is a live, crowd-sourced repository for tools, databases, protocols, and information related to micro- and macro-plastics research. Made by scientists, for scientists, as well as members of communities who are seeking ways to study plastic pollution where they live.

Plastiverse is committed to making science open and accessible to reduce institutional, economic, and logistical barriers against addressing plastic pollution globally. It provides a vast number of software, databases, methods, and other resources to enable plastic pollution research.

In the journal Nature, journalist Tosin Thompson interviews experts making strong recommendations for the global Plastics Treaty addressing pollution, and recycling, social and health implications.