The Stream

How much plastic is too much for our planet?

On Wednesday, January 11 at 19:30 GMT:
Microplastics – tiny particles that result from the breakdown of plastics – are everywhere, from the air we breathe to the water we drink. Microscopic plastic pollution has even been found in human bloodstreams and breastmilk. And while the harms caused by microplastics are still being studied, researchers and environmental advocates say more action needs to be taken to rein in plastic pollution.

Despite growing acknowledgement of a global crisis in plastics pollution, demand for plastics continues to rise. Global plastic waste is on track to almost triple by 2060, with about half of the waste ending up in landfills and less than a fifth recycled, according to the OECD.

Last month, the first round of talks began for a Global Plastics Treaty that would be the first legally binding agreement on plastic pollution. But UN members, particularly countries with fossil fuel interests, could not agree to mandatory curbs on production.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at the outlook for plastic pollution and what’s being done to address it.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Erica Cirino
Journalist & author, “Thicker Than Water”

Steve Fletcher, @DrSFletcher
Director,  Global Plastics Policy Centre at the University of Portsmouth

Satyarupa Shekhar, @brkfreeplastic
Asia Pacific coordinator, Break Free From Plastic