Position Paper on Plastics, WTE, Incineration, and Calls for Action

Health Care Without Harm Asia's policy paper titled "Protecting Health, Protecting Our Planet: Addressing Plastic Waste Pollution in Healthcare Facilities" highlights the significant impact of plastics on human and planetary health within the healthcare industry. Plastics have played a crucial role in medical advancements but also pose health risks due to hazardous chemicals and by-products. Improper waste management and disposal methods, such as incineration, contribute to pollution and environmental degradation.

The paper emphasizes the need to address the plastic pollution issue urgently, with a focus on reducing unnecessary plastics, promoting circularity through recycling, and banning false solutions like chemical recycling and waste-to-energy processes. Healthcare professionals are encouraged to advocate for sustainable practices and eliminate problematic plastics.

The policy calls on policymakers to implement measures such as mandatory product labeling, progressive reduction of plastics, and addressing both intentional and unintentional plastics pollution. It underscores the critical role of the health sector in combating plastic pollution, particularly considering the surge in plastic waste during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.