IPEN International Pollutants Elimination Network

Administration seeks more relaxed approach on reducing plastics

a crane in a large trash pile, Washington Post logo in foreground

The Washington Post reports that as negotiators seeking a global plastics treaty gather in Paris this week for another round of talks, the Biden administration is pushing to let countries come up with their own pledges — a less stringent approach similar to that of the Paris agreement on climate change.

The outcome of the Treaty talks could make the difference between an ambitious effort to reduce plastic in public life and a much more limited one environmentalists say would do much less to protect people from the harms of manufacturing the long-lived material.

“The treaty must protect the environment and health,” Björn Beeler, the international coordinator at the International Pollutants Elimination Network, said by phone from Paris. “And when you look at environment, you can say you’re looking at stopping leakage [into the ocean]. But when you’re looking at health, you’re really talking about the invisible threats to human health and to biodiversity as well from these toxic chemicals into plastics. The idea of circularity completely misses the health angle.”

Read the full story in the Washington Post.