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This treaty could stop plastic pollution—or doom the Earth to drown in it

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Wired or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: Amid a series of environmental calamities, the United Nations has presented a "zero draft" treaty addressing the alarming rise of plastic pollution
• The treaty contains provisions for eliminating toxic materials used in plastic, addressing the proliferation of microplastics, better management of waste, and more

🔭 The context: Despite being overshadowed by the climate crisis, plastic pollution is rapidly becoming a global emergency
• Annually, a trillion pounds of plastic are produced, and projections indicate a tripling of this number by 2060

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Plastic pollution contributes to the global climate crisis and has pervasive effects on ecosystems, from the deepest ocean trenches to towering mountains
• Microplastics, minute fragments of degraded plastic, have infiltrated the environment and even our bodies

⏭️ What's next: The UN's draft treaty offers interventions for consideration during discussions expected to continue through 2024, with about 150 countries participating
• The aim is to either "protect human health and the environment from plastic pollution" or "end plastic pollution"

💬 One quote: "It is well established that our global plastic pollution crisis is also contributing to our global climate crisis... the increasing shift towards investing into plastic production... is a great concern." (Nick Mallos, Ocean Conservancy) 

📈 One stat: More than 13,000 chemicals are associated with plastics, with approximately a quarter being categorized as hazardous

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