This event is co-organized with IPEN, within the framework of the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues. Leading experts at this session will discuss opportunities to protect children’s health and their future in the Plastics Treaty. Interpretation provided to Spanish and French.

About this Session

Many harmful chemicals are used during the production of plastics, either as building blocks of the plastic material itself or as additives to provide certain properties such as color or flexibility. Hazardous chemicals may also be present in plastics from contamination during production, such as styrene monomers, or formed during recycling, such as dioxins. These chemicals can leach into food, water, and the environment.

Microplastics are widespread contaminants of the environment today that both contain hazardous chemicals as part of the material but that can also adsorb, magnify, and spread environmental contaminants such as PCBs. Hazardous chemicals in plastics are a source of concern because many of the chemicals that leach from plastics are EDCs. These EDCs include bisphenols, alkylphenol ethoxylates, perfluorinated compounds, brominated flame retardants, phthalates, UV stabilizer, and metals. The leaching of these EDCs from plastics is of concern because they have been shown to cause abnormal reproductive, metabolic, thyroid, immune, and neurological function. This has led to numerous international scientific societies such as the Endocrine Society and health organizations to weigh in and it has contributed to science-based action on EDCs by many stakeholders including some governments, retailers, and manufacturers. However, more efforts are needed to protect people and the environment from potentially harmful EDCs in plastics.

Leading scientists from the Endocrine Society and the TENDR collective, joining the panel of this event, will present the latest science illustrating the impacts on children’s hormones and neurological systems from plastic chemicals. This event, taking place ahead of the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-4), aims to provide a compelling argument for the protection of human health in the global plastics treaty.

Interpretation provided to Spanish and French.

Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues

The world is facing a plastic crisis, the status quo is not an option. Plastic pollution is a serious issue of global concern which requires an urgent and international response involving all relevant actors at different levels. Many initiatives, projects and governance responses and options have been developed to tackle this major environmental problem, but we are still unable to cope with the amount of plastic we generate. In addition, there is a lack of coordination which can better lead to a more effective and efficient response.

Various actors in Geneva are engaged in rethinking the way we manufacture, use, trade and manage plastics. The Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues aim at outreaching and creating synergies among these actors, highlighting efforts made by intergovernmental organizations, governments, businesses, the scientific community, civil society and individuals in the hope of informing and creating synergies and coordinated actions. The dialogues highlight what the different stakeholders in Geneva and beyond have achieved at all levels, and present the latest research and governance options.

Following the landmark resolution adopted at UNEA-5 to end plastic pollution and building on the outcomes of the first two series, the third series of dialogues will encourage increased engagement of the Geneva community with future negotiations on the matter.

Speakers

By order of intervention.

Maria NEIRA

Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, World Health Organization

Serge Molly ALLO'O ALLO'O

Global Framework on Chemicals Focal Point, Gabon

Mohammad AL KHASHASHNEH

Secretary General, Ministry of Environment, Jordan

Maureen SWANSON

Director, Environmental Risk Reduction & Project TENDR, The Arc

Andrea GORE

Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Texas at Austin

Linda S. BIRNBAUM

Scientist Emeritus and Former Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program, Scholar in Residence, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University

Robert ZOELLER

Professor Emeritus, Biology Department, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Leo TRASANDE

Jim G. Hendrick MD Professor of Pediatrics & Director, Center for the Investigation of Environmental Hazards, New York University Grossman School of Medicine

Pamela MILLER

Co-Chair, IPEN & Executive Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics | Moderator

Registration

This event will take place online. To register, please use Webex.

Video

Links