BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 11 Mar '19

Influential and environmentally conscious speakers to discuss ‘generation plastic’ at the next Women’s Environmental Network forum

Women’s Environmental Network will hold its next quarterly forum on the topic of ‘Toxic Chemicals in Plastics’ on Wednesday 20 March 2019, at Amnesty International UK Human Rights Action Centre in London.

Speakers include Emma Ross, vlogger, blogger and co-founder of #PlasticFreeParenting; Jayn Sterland, managing director at clean beauty pioneer Weleda UK and Emma Priestland, plastic campaigner at Friends of the Earth. The panel will be chaired by Dr Anna Watson of CHEM Trust.

Plastics: the bigger picture

2018 was all about plastic polluting our oceans and rivers – but the bigger picture around harmful chemicals in plastic and their impact on people and the environment is yet to fully emerge.

Recent reports, such as one co-authored by Helen Lynn, WEN’s health advisor, found that households use about 20% of the global plastics for consumer products. When we buy these goods (such as clothing, jewellery and food packaging), we are putting ourselves in direct contact with plastic.

‘Often people are unaware that the products they buy and use contain hidden plastic and by virtue toxic chemicals. You only have to look at disposable nappies and menstrual products to find hidden plastic and some pretty nasty chemicals. We are excited to bring together a panel of experts to discuss the issues and how people can protect themselves and the environment.’

KATE METCALF
Co-director at WEN

Using consumer products that contain plastic can lead to the inhalation and ingestion of microplastic particles and other toxic substances, creating health issues such as inflammation and necrosis.

Plastics from packaged food and PVC flooring can release hazardous chemicals such as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). EDCs are also found in personal care and cosmetic products, which can be absorbed by the skin.

The WEN report also found that the packaging industry uses about 40% of the global plastic production; that women – more often than men – buy basic consumer goods that contain plastic and the link between plastic chemicals and the health of male and female reproductive systems, breast cancer and hypospadias.

Tickets for WEN forum are £15; concession prices are available.