The Plastic Health Coalition

Plastic is not only a serious threat to the environment, but perhaps also to our health. We eat, drink and breathe plastic, allowing tiny particles of plastic to penetrate our body. We already know that the chemicals added to plastic can be slightly to very harmful to our body. There seems to be a connection with fertility problems, language development disorders, cancer, obesity and ADHD. But we cannot say this for sure. Therefore: how dangerous is plastic? What are the possible consequences for our health?

We are seriously concerned.

For this reason, the Plastic Soup Foundation, together with leading scientists, frontrunners and changemakers, has taken the initiative to create a new alliance: The Plastic Health Coalition. In this coalition various national and international environmental and research organisations have joined forces, all dealing with the effects of (micro)plastics on our health. This way we want to achieve that more scientific research into the effects of plastic on our health is initiated as soon as possible. We also want to see what we can actually do to prevent plastic ending up in our bodies and to find possible solutions.

Fifteen studies

One of the first projects is to stimulate scientific research. ZonMw, the organisation for health research in the Netherlands, has given researchers the opportunity to submit research proposals. On the 22th of March 2019, scientists working on 15 ground-breaking projects have been given the green light. Thanks to funding by NWO, the Netherlands organisation for scientific research, the Gieskes-Strijbis Fund and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, they started important research into the effects of micro-and nanoplastics on our health. Worldwide, this has not been done before.

All research projects focus on a number of important questions:
–           how can plastic particles penetrate the body?
–           what is the role of size, shape and composition?
–           do (harmful) microorganisms that attach themselves to plastics have an effect, and if so, where in the body could health effects occur?

On the website of the Plastic Health Coalition, the Plastic Soup Foundation will report everything that occurs in relation with plastic and health. So look here for the latest news!

The first Plastic Health Summit in the world

On October 3 2019, the Plastic Soup Foundation and ZonMw, in cooperation with the Plastic Health Coalition, are organizing conference around the effects of plastic on human health. The initial test results of no less than 15 ground-breaking Dutch scientific research projects will be presented.

New evidence will also be presented regarding the health effects on our day-to-day life of – for example – BPA, PFAS, phthalates and other chemical additives to plastic. We will bring the different players together – industry, politicians, scientists – as we search for shared solutions and strive to form concrete partnerships.

Admission to the conference in Amsterdam is on a “By Invite Only” basis. Do you think you should attend this prestigious event? Tell us why you should be there in a mail to rsvp@plasticsoupfoundation.org

What’s next?

The international committee that has reviewed the research proposals, stresses that these 15 projects are only the beginning. A year is not long enough to find all the answers. The committee sees great potential in these projects and hopes that long-term follow-up studies will be made possible. Worldwide, the Netherlands has a leading position in scientific research into microplastics and, according to the committee, this should be further developed.

In addition, over the next three years the Plastic Soup Foundation, in collaboration with the Free University of Amsterdam (VU), will test everyday products for the presence of plastic and harmful substances that are added to plastic. Examples are: anti-wrinkle cream, lipstick, nail polish, bottled mineral water, microwave meals, and plastic tea bags. The results will be published in the Plastic Test Lab on the website of the Plastic Health Coalition.

And you?

Would you like to take action yourself, for example by reducing your own plastic footprint and making sure you ingest as little plastic as possible? Then start the Plastic Diet today!

For more information visit www.plastichealthcoalition.org. This website will soon also be available in Dutch.