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Panelists Discuss Need for Change in Plastic Production at UN Plastics Treaty Conference

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In a world reliant on plastics, there is an increasing need for a viable plastic substitute to limit waste, according to Hauke Kite-Powell, a research specialist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

“If we are going to limit plastic production, we are going to have to change the way plastic is used,” Kite-Powell said. “We have to think really hard about substitutes. In the history of global regulation, most of the real success stories have been where substitutes were available.” 

The Boston College Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society and the Global Observatory on Planetary Health co-sponsored a conference on Oct. 16, discussing the 2022 United Nations plastics treaty. Moderated by BC Law School professor David Wirth, the panel featured presentations by several experts in the public policy and oceanography fields. 

The audience received a handout that explained the goals of the resolution. The handout advocated for a global cap on plastic production, extended producer responsibility, and mandated full disclosure of the chemicals in plastics. It also called for a ban on all forms of plastic combustion. 

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