Chemical pollution crisis: Scientists demand circular plastics economy for “Earth’s integrity”

Chemical pollution has passed the threshold of a stable environment for the first time in 10,000 years, according to new research by the American Chemical Society.

The study shows novel entities – that could have large-scale impacts “threatening the integrity of Earth system processes” – are increasing at a pace that outstrips the global capacity for assessment and monitoring. 

Much of this pollution is caused by plastic packaging leaking into the ground and sea, say the study authors, who note that toxic chemicals have been discovered as high as Mount Everest and low as the deepest points of the world’s oceans. The authors say chemical production has increased fiftyfold since 1950 and is expected to triple again by 2050.

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