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A Toxics-Free Future

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Basel COP14

IPEN Press release: UN meeting gives countries the right to refuse unrecyclable, polluting plastics

10 May, 2019, Geneva, Switzerland: Governments at the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) of the Basel Convention acted to restrict rampant plastic waste exports by requiring countries to obtain prior informed consent before exporting contaminated or mixed plastic waste. A deluge of plastic waste exports from developed countries has polluted developing countries in Southeast Asia after China closed the door to waste imports in 2018. IPEN, the global network of environmental health, science and public interest organizations that has exposed environmental impcts of plastic waste exports to developing countries, applauded the move as a critical step to stem the toxic tide of plastic waste.

"This historic decision stops plastic trash dumping at the borders of exporting countries," said Dr. Mariann Lloyd-Smith, IPEN Senior Advisor.

Read the entire press release here

Joint Press release from IPEN, BAN, Break Free From Plastic, CIEL, Ecology Center, Ecoton, EIA, Friends of the Earth International, GAIA, Nexus 3 & Sahabat Alam Malaysia: UN Decides to Control Global Plastic Waste Dumping

Major Plastic Waste Producers Must Get Consent Before  Exporting their Toxic Trash to Global South

10 May, 2019, Geneva, Switzerland — Today, 187 countries took a major step forward in curbing the plastic waste crisis by adding plastic to the Basel Convention, a treaty that controls the movement of hazardous waste from one country to another. The amendments require exporters to obtain the consent of receiving countries before shipping most contaminated, mixed, or unrecyclable plastic waste, providing an important tool for countries in the Global South to stop the dumping of unwanted plastic waste into their country.

After China banned imports of most plastic waste in 2018, developing countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, have received a huge influx of contaminated and mixed plastic wastes that are difficult or even impossible to recycle. Norway's proposed amendments to the Basel Convention provides countries the right to refuse unwanted or unmanageable plastic waste.

Read the entire press release here

Norwegian Proposal to Amend the Annexes to the Basel Convention (español / English / français / العربية )

For the Basel COP14, Norway proposed amendments to the annexes to the Basel Convention to bring problematic plastic waste streams within the scope and control of the Convention. EIA, CIEL, IPEN and BAN prepared a short legal explanation of what the proposal would entail. Find the explanation here.

Basel Action Network, CIEL, IPEN, Break Free From Plastic and other civil society NGOs at the meeting shared photos showing the extent of waste dumping with delegates and spoke with them to urge them to support the Norwegian Amendment.

Support Norwegian Amendment   BFFP Support Norwegian Amendment

BAN and IPEN Quick Views of Basel COP14 (español / 中文 / English / عربى / русский / français)

In the run-up to the Basel Convention's 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14), IPEN worked with Basel Action Network (BAN) to complete a "Quick Views" document that addresses some issues that will be discussed at the COP14. These include marine litter and microplastics; financial resources; compliance; e-waste guidelines; POPs waste; technical guidelines on incineration, engineered landfill, hazardous waste physico-chemical treatment and biological treatment; and more.

The Views document can be read here.