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Negotiators from around the world will convene in Paris next week to continue working on a legally binding global treaty to address the plastics crisis. In this second of five rounds of talks, there will be much to discuss, including basic agenda items like the rules governing the negotiations. But for many who will be attending, one issue seems to have risen to the top of the priority list: toxic chemicals.
Since the first round of negotiations late last year, coalitions representing virtually every United Nations member state in Africa and Europe, as well as a dozen other countries including Canada and Australia, have put out statements calling for the treaty to include mandatory restrictions on chemicals in plastics. Other stakeholders have called attention to chemicals, too, with reports from many environmental groups and academics highlighting their risks to human health.