Panel tackles the emerging crisis of plastics
Plastics are the cornerstone of our way of life from the clothes we wear to our furniture, toys, cell phones, storage containers, wrapping, eyeglasses, medical devices and car parts.
Of late though, we have become inundated with information on the havoc plastic seems to reeking on our environment and how plastic may be dangerous for human health.
From its manufacture – from petrochemicals to the many difficulties in its disposal – plastics have become a major environmental hazard.
Accumulating plastic waste forms land mountains and islands the size of provinces in oceans, thus threatening every form of life, some to extinction. Also, the minute particles that arise as plastic breaks down are invading the air we breathe, the water we drink, and soil that grows the food we eat.
The human health risks from plastics are especially concerning. Organ systems including the heart, gut, lung, reproductive system, and brain are all vulnerable to the effects of plastic while diseases such as cancer and immune disorders have been directly linked to plastic exposure.
Recent scientific evidence showing that some types of plastic act as endocrine disruptors may explain recent rises in infertility, reproductive disorders, and behavioral problems like ADHD and autism. Of great concern, also, is the realization of the devastating effects of micro-plastic consumption on wildlife and the possibility that this may be similar for humans.
To counter these effects, many environmental organizations have taken up the cause of reducing plastic consumption and improving disposal techniques. At the community level, some grass-roots organizations such as Creemore’s CLEAN lobby have called for bans on the usage of specific plastic items. But these efforts are still in their infancy.
For the past several years, the Environment Committee of The Mono Mulmur Citizens Coalition has been examining the plastics crisis with the hope of bringing the relevant issues to the community’s attention.
On Oct. 26, this committee will host a free public event featuring presentations by scientists Sam Cherniak, a PhD candidate in the renowned Drinking Water Research Group at University of Toronto and Dr. Joanne Rovet, a local resident who is Scientist Emeritus from The Hospital for Sick Children.
Their presentations will be followed by an expert panel consisting of Cecily Ross, a Creemore author and community activist, and Arnold de Graaf, a local environmental expert, writer, and activist, as well as the two scientists.
Members of the panel will share their knowledge and experience on managing the plastics crisis and address audience questions and concerns on how to best deal with these issues in their communities.
The event will take place at the New Hope Community Church, 690 Riddell Road, Orangeville (south-west corner). The date and time are Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Doors will open at 9 a.m. so come early to get a good seat. Refreshments will be served.