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the fight against plastic pollution has been going on worldwide for a long time
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The fight against plastic pollution has been going on worldwide for a long time

The fight against plastic pollution has been going on worldwide for a long time

Negotiations have been happening for two years to create a binding global agreement to stop plastic pollution. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Plastic Pollution is continuing this discussion.

The fourth round of talks concluded last week in Ottawa, Canada. The negotiators from 175 countries in this year’s talks disagreed primarily about stopping plastic production.

Many countries are not willing to do so. Most of the plastics are made from fossil fuels and various toxic chemicals, which pollute the environment even after use. Because it does not rot easily or completely. Therefore, the global fight to prevent plastic pollution has been going on for a long time.

In March 2022, the United Nations Environment Council (UNEA) decided to create a legally binding agreement to stop plastic pollution.

For this, an intergovernmental discussion committee was formed with representatives of 175 countries. The committee is continuing to negotiate with the aim of reaching an agreement by 2024.

The committee started discussions in the second half of 2022. The first three rounds of talks were held in Uruguay, France and Kenya. The fourth round of negotiations took place in Canada.

But even after four rounds of discussion, the committee could not make a final outline to solve the plastic problem. The final round of talks is scheduled to take place in South Korea at the end of this year (November-December).

Only the UK said last month it would legislate to ban plastic wet tissues. After using wet tissues made of plastic, they also spread harmful microplastics into the environment.

“We know that plastic bags are harmful to the environment. But what we don’t know is that many other things we use every day contain invisible plastics or microplastics, which we can’t see. As a result, only banning plastic bags will not stop plastic pollution,” the country opined.

What are invisible plastics and microplastics?

There are many things that do not seem to be made of plastic, but after use they also release plastic into the environment. One of them is wet wipes or wet tissues.

Professor Tony Walker of the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University in Canada said, “Invisible plastic is everywhere. From chairs, tables and computers to most of our everyday items, there is some form

“But according to him, there is no need to eliminate all plastics. For example, plastics used to make furniture. Because we use furniture for decades or even longer. As a result, it is unlikely to contribute to environmental pollution immediately,” he continued.

He said, “We need to focus more on reducing or eliminating single-use items that contain plastic. These are adding thousands of tons of plastic to our garbage piles. From these, harmful microplastics spread in the environment.”

Microplastics are tiny particles of plastic that can even get into our food. For example, when plastic particles are mixed with seawater, it goes into the stomach of fish. And if we eat that fish, it can be mixed in our body’s blood.

In 2022, the first scientists found that microplastics or plastic particles have entered human blood. Plastic particles as small as 0.0007 millimeters have also been detected in blood.

A study published in the journal Environment International found that approximately 80 percent of people had plastic particles in their blood. Multiple types of plastic particles were found in the blood of many.

The study was funded by the Dutch National Organization for Health Research and Development and Common Sickle. The organization is a social enterprise working to reduce plastic pollution.

The UK government and the European Union have started researching the harmful effects of plastic pollution on human health.

Professor Tony Walker warned that “biodegradable plastics” may still contain microplastics, despite being advertised as able to break down naturally after one use.

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