Pair urges government to classify some plastic waste as hazardous

By Anthony Clark
PRW

Published: February 14, 2013 11:32 am ET
Updated: February 14, 2013 11:34 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Government & Legislation

DAVIS, CALIF. -- A pair of scientists has published an environmental call to arms that says that some plastics should be classified as hazardous waste in order to ensure that governments properly deal with them.

In the online version of the journal Nature, Chelsea Rochman and Mark Anthony Browne claim that labeling some plastics – specifically PVC, polystyrene, polyurethane and polycarbonate – as hazardous would cut health risks and protect wildlife.

Rochman works at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine's Aquatic Health Program, and is a Ph.D. candidate in ecology seeking a joint degree from UC Davis and San Diego State University. Browne is a post-doctoral fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis at the University of California Santa Barbara.

"We believe that if countries classified the most harmful plastics as hazardous, their environmental agencies would have the power to restore affected habitats and prevent more dangerous debris from accumulating," they wrote.

According to the pair, in 2012 some 280 million metric tons of plastic were produced globally of which less than half was recycled or went to landfill. The scientists suggest of the remaining 150 million metric tons, some will still be in use but a substantial amount has ended up discarded as litter.

Their article claims that if the current rate of production continues the planet will be shouldering an additional 33 billion metric tons of plastic by 2050.

"This could be reduced to just 4 billion metric tons if the most problematic plastics are classified as hazardous immediately and replaced with safer, reusable materials in the next decade," said Rochman and Browne.

"We feel that the physical dangers of plastic debris are well enough established, and the suggestions of chemical dangers sufficiently worrying, that the biggest producers of plastic waste – the United States, Europe and China – must act now."


Comments

Pair urges government to classify some plastic waste as hazardous

By Anthony Clark
PRW

Published: February 14, 2013 11:32 am ET
Updated: February 14, 2013 11:34 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events