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Blog

Post category: plastics

Nov 27
2023

Guest commentary
What’s new
“Advanced Recycling” of Plastics: Largely waste disposal by another name (Part 2)

By Ted Schettler, MD, MPH
Science Director, Science and Environmental Health Network; Science Advisor, Health Care Without Harm

“Advanced recycling,” also sometimes called molecular recycling or chemical recycling, is a term that encompasses several technologies that use heat, solvents, enzymes, or microwaves to break down plastic waste. Among the so-called “advanced recycling” methods,  attempts to commercialize and scale up have focused mainly on  pyrolysis and gasification. Pyrolysis or gasification of plastics both pose significant challenges, and their performance thus far has been poor.  . . .

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Oct 30
2023

Guest commentary
What’s new
“Advanced Recycling” of Plastics: Largely waste disposal by another name (Part 1)

By Ted Schettler, MD, MPH
Science Director, Science and Environmental Health Network; Science Advisor, Health Care Without Harm

Plastics are complex, heterogeneous chemical polymers with varying amounts of thousands of chemical additives that impart properties such as color, flexibility, stability, water repellency, flame retardance, and ultraviolet resistance. While many plastic products have obvious benefits, throughout their lifecycles — from production to use, recycling, and disposal — plastic polymers and their additives are also responsible for extensive harm to human health and the environment.
 . . .

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Oct 23
2023

What’s new
A Poison Like No Other: New book on microplastics highlights global threat

Around the world today, microplastics are largely unseen but ubiquitous. This makes it difficult to grasp the scope of the problem. Matt Simon’s book, A Poison Like No Other: How Microplastics Corrupted Our Planet and Our Bodies, sets out to show us exactly what we’re dealing with. In a recent webinar, Simon shared findings from his book with CHE Alaska.  . . .

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Oct 9
2023

What’s new
6PPD in Tires: A concern for playgrounds, artificial turf, and more

By Rachel Massey, ScD and Zhenyu Tian, PhD

Waste tires are used in a variety of applications, including widespread use as recreational surfacing. This includes artificial turf and “rubber mulch” marketed for use in gardens and on playgrounds. These products are marketed as a solution to the problem of burgeoning tire waste, but they disperse waste material widely into the environment, creating a future cleanup problem. And they create the conditions for young children to be exposed to this problematic material.   . . .

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Aug 21
2023

What’s new
Playing on Plastic: Artificial Turf Hazards and Safer Alternatives

By Rachel Massey, ScD and Lindsey Pollard, MS

From professional sports leagues to elementary schools and even day care centers, many communities have questions about the pros and cons of artificial turf. The National Football League’s Players Association president is advocating for natural grass fields, citing higher injury rates on artificial turf fields. Some communities have adopted moratoria on turf installation, while some are making plans to invest in new, sustainably managed natural grass fields.  . . .

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Feb 24
2023

What’s new
Another painful reminder of PVC plastic’s toxic lifecycle

By Mike Schade
Director, Toxic Free Future's Mind the Store program

CHE is cross-posting blogs from various experts responding to the tragic train derailment in Ohio on February 3, 2023. The following is an excerpt from a Toxic Free Future blog posted on February 17. You'll find the full version here

The vinyl chloride train derailment in Ohio is a modern environmental disaster playing out in real time. Sadly, this is yet another painful reminder of the dangers of making, transporting, using, and disposing of chemicals in plastics, especially polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic.  . . .

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Oct 26
2018

What’s new
Webinars
Announcing New Webinar Series on Effects of Plastic on Health

We are excited to announce a new four-part webinar series looking into the effects of plastic on health. Over the next four months, we will be joined by leading scientists, health professionals, policy experts, and advocates to talk about the various impacts of plastics on public health.  . . .

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