Scientists are calling for the production of new plastics to be capped in a bid to cut pollution and tackle the climate crisis.

In March 2022, 175 countries unanimously agreed to adopt a global plastic treaty to stop plastic pollution. Not only is the treaty set to address the issue of plastic waste, but it will address the “full lifecycle of plastics,” from the extraction of chemicals to the highly polluting stage of “cracking” chemicals into compounds used to make plastic. However, the details of this treaty still need to be figured out during a negotiation process that will begin on 30 May.

We previously covered the lead up and conclusion to the Treaty talks in March 2022.

In a letter published in the journal Science, a group of international scientists has called for a cap on the global production of new plastics in order to preserve human and environmental health, and to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. They argue that this move will be critical in solving the plastic pollution issue currently confronting our planet.

The letter notes that there are currently about 450 million tons of plastic produced each year, and that production is set to double by 2045. The production of plastic is known to emit large volumes of greenhouse gas emissions — in the U.S. alone, it’s been estimated that the plastic industry contributes 232 million metric tons of greenhouse gases every year, and that these emissions could outpace what is produced by burning coal by 2030. But there is also the growing issue of plastic waste, especially since much of it is currently exported from the Global North to the Global South, the scientists say in the letter.

Further information on this story can be read on Mongabay here and the Independent here.

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