Plastic waste should be classified as hazardous, says Professor Richard Thompson of the Marine Biology and Ecology Centre, according to the BBC report. The article states that Prof Thompson is joining, “A team of international academics who says waste plastics threaten the environment and wildlife.”
“370 marine species ingest or become entangled in plastic debris,” according to the report published in Nature magazine, the BBC author writes, but the benefits reportedly outweigh the, “Negative impacts.”
The article continues:
Prof Thompson, the only UK scientist involved in the report, has been studying the effects of waste plastic in the oceans since 2004.
He said: “The Nature report builds directly on our previous research, together with that of other leading world experts, and asks that we acknowledge these problems by reclassification of plastic waste as hazardous.”
The report said: “Many people think that replacing materials such as wood and glass with plastic to make goods lighter can help to address climate change.
“However, the benefits must be balanced against the negative impacts of plastics so that they are used only when they have smaller carbon and ecological footprints than alternatives.”
It said there was a precedent with the legislation taken to ban CFCs, which led to a global halt in some dangerous chemical emissions.