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Philippines

Re-exportation of Illegal Trash Re-Ignites Call to Ban All Waste Imports

Quezon City, PhIlippines - After sitting in Northern Mindanao for two years, the final batch of 80 container vans of contaminated plastic waste from South Korea are set to sail home this week amid the continuing COVID-19 outbreak.

Deceptively declared as “plastic synthetic flakes,” the contaminated plastic waste materials, which arrived in July and October 2018 at the ports in Villanueva and Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, were found by the authorities to contain unsorted plastic materials, used dextrose tubes, soiled diapers, discarded electronics and household garbage in violation of national laws and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

Following successful bilateral negotiations led by the Bureau of Customs-Region 10, which the EcoWaste Coalition attended, a total of 251 container vans of illegal waste shipments were re-exported to South Korea this year on July 18 (53 containers), March 27 (47 containers), February 16 (50 containers) and January 19 (50 containers), and last year on January 19 (51 containers). The last 80 containers are scheduled for re-shipment on August 4 and 8 bringing the total number of returned containers loaded with garbage to 331.

“The completion of the complicated re-exportation procedures in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis that continues to disrupt and claim people’s lives is a big win in our people's pursuit of environmental justice and the rule of law during these most difficult times,” declared Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

Ground-breaking report finds greater monitoring needed

Quezon City, Philippines/Gothenburg, Sweden - In the first public study of its kind, environmental health groups EcoWaste Coalition and IPEN uncovered spray paints with dangerous lead concentrations — some samples containing levels hundreds of times higher than global standards — on sale in the Philippines in violation of the country’s law banning lead in paints.

The report shows that nearly half of the spray paints tested exceeded the total lead content limit above 90 parts per million (ppm), and nearly a third contained levels higher than 10,000 ppm. Samples were obtained from various retail outlets, including hardware stores, home improvement centers, general merchandise marts, school and office supplies shops, in 20 cities and one municipality in Metro Manila and various parts of Luzon.

Several of the spray paints containing lead were imported from countries with existing, legally-binding lead paint regulations, such as China and Thailand. The Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers (PAPM) confirmed that none of the analyzed samples in this study was produced by one of its affiliates.

Photo Courtesy of BOC

Customs authorities cautioned from burning confiscated cosmetics containing mercury

Quezon City.  Non-government organizations have cautioned the customs authorities from burning confiscated skin whitening products tainted with mercury to reduce the harm of mercury pollution to human health and the environment. 

Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition on Tuesday urged the Department of Education to screen the schools’ facilities for lead paint hazard which can affect the children’s developing brains and behavior while they are closed due to the COVID-19 scare.
Groups pursue ban on waste trade as the first anniversary of the re-exportation of Canadian garbage dumped in the Philippines on May 31 nears

(Quezon City, Philippines) - Civil society groups marked the first anniversary of the repatriation of 69 container vans of rotting Canadian garbage to their source with a resounding plea for decisive policy actions to prevent its recurrence and to defend environmental justice and the rule of law.

Newly-issued DOH policy banning dental amalgam draws cheers amid the coronavirus crisis

(Quezon City) A new policy promulgated by the Department of Health (DOH) phasing out dental amalgam, a tooth filling material containing approximately 50% mercury, has received roars of approval from advocacy groups within and outside the Philippines.

Groups urge the government to ratify the Basel Ban Amendment to prevent the entry of imported trash into the country, as the remaining imported trash left Tagoloan port for South Korea, where it came from.

https://globalnation.inquirer.net/183235/last-batch-of-imported-trash-se...

By Jigger J. Jerusalem - @inquirerdotnet – Inquirer Mindanao

Environment activists urge government to ban all types of waste importation as the remaining 5,177 metric tons of wastes from South Korea are being shipped back to their country of origin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO (from EcoWaste Coalition)

(Over 5,000 tons of illegal waste imports from South Korea to be shipped back on January 19 and February 9)

Quezon City.  The phase-out of all types of lead-containing paints in the Philippines is an excellent example of a successful chemical policy directive aimed at preventing and reducing children’s exposure to lead, a highly toxic substance, from paints.

(EcoWaste Coalition / MANILA BULLETIN)

Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition prodded concerned government authorities to clamp down on firms manufacturing and selling hazardous laced products and equipment to ensure public safety.

By Chito Chavez

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