17 November 2023

Scientists call for priority on regulation to minimise plastic removal

A group of scientists have warned that plastic removal technologies can be a temporary solution, and called for policy to prioritise regulation and upstream production.

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Writing in the journal One Earth, the group of researchers from different institutions around the world have said that plastic removal methods should ideally be interim measures, while plastic production is phased down.

They called for the focus to be on handling the vast amounts of existing waste at landfills and unofficial dumpsites to prevent environmental contamination.

They also called for plastic removal technologies to be independentally scientifically evaluated based on rigorous and globally standardised EIA criteria.

Their paper concludes that successful historical precedents for the future Plastics Treaty can be found in multilateral environmental agreements focused on prevention rather than mitigation of chlorofluorocarbons, air pollution and the release of oil residues from ships at sea.

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