Scientists have previously concluded that humanity has exceeded the planetary boundaries for global heating, biodiversity loss, habitat loss and nitrogen and phosphorous pollution. The researchers noted that there are around 350,000 different types of manufactured chemicals on the global market, with almost 70,000 introduced in the last decade. Among them are plastics, pesticides, industrial chemicals and pharmaceutical products.
Plastics are especially concerning. They now weigh more than double the mass of living animals, and around 80% of all the plastics ever produced persist in the environment instead of being properly recycled. Further, plastics are made up of more than 10,000 other chemicals that can enter the environment in new combinations when they degrade.
In order to address the risk posed by plastics and other chemical pollutants, the study authors argued that it is important to curb their production and release into the environment.
They also supported calls for a circular economy. That means changing materials and products, so they can be reused not wasted, designing chemicals and products for recycling, and much better screening of chemicals for their safety and sustainability along their whole impact pathway in the Earth system. (source: ecowatch.com)
Much depends on our awareness. We may choose to use natural and reusable material products every day for our every need - after all, our ancestors did it until a few years ago.
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