In its 5th General Assembly on June 28, 2018, EcoWaste Coalition adopted a resolution expressing solidarity with Samsung workers' struggle for justice.
Resolution Expressing Solidarity with Samsung Workers’ Struggle for Justice
Whereas there is a growing international concern over the working conditions of workers in the electronics industry, particularly among workers in the factories of Samsung Electronics in South Korea and Vietnam;
At a press conference coinciding with the observance of the World Environment Day, environmental advocates from Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines made a strong case against waste-to-energy (WtE) incineration touted as a solution to the garbage crisis.
Organized by the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), EcoWaste Coalition and IPEN*, the press event shed light on the pitfalls of incinerating discards from an environmental, health and socio-economic standpoint.
“This event is being held against a backdrop of increasing concern over the plan of the Puerto Princesa City government to put up a P2.1 billion WtE gasification plan that will burn the city’s discards estimated at 100 metric tons per day,” said Atty. Gerthie Mayo-Anda, Executive Director, ELAC. “We hope the city government will hear us out, rethink its plan and opt for holistic waste prevention and reduction strategies to cut the volume of discards requiring final disposal.”
(Stockholm, Sweden): The 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize award to Manny Calonzo for his coalition efforts to eliminate lead paint in the Philippines brings attention to the ongoing threat of lead paint exposure to children in most of the developing world. Lead paint, the greatest single cause of childhood lead exposure globally, can cause irreversible neurological damage. Mr. Calonzo’s work to forge partnerships with the public, NGOs, health ministers and paint manufacturers was a winning model in the Philippines and is inspiring similar campaigns to eliminate lead paint throughout the world.
“Together with allies from the public, industry and government, we proved we can rid ourselves of a damaging source of toxic pollution for the good of children in the Philippines. I hope this prize will help reduce lead exposure to children across the planet and paint a healthier future,” said Mr. Calonzo.
A long time campaigner for environmental health, Mr. Calonzo, former president and advisor of the EcoWaste Coalition in the Philippines and leader in IPEN’s global Lead Paint Elimination Campaign, was instrumental in securing the adoption of the first national law banning lead paint production, use and sale in the Philippines. This new law, one of the world’s most protective, safeguards nearly 12 million young children from exposure to lead. Lead exposure, even at the smallest amount, can cause lifelong, untreatable harm, including brain damage, harming a child’s ability to learn, read, write, and focus in class and participate in society.
While the United States effectively banned lead-based paint in 1978, in many developing countries—even after decades of research showing how lead is linked to learning disabilities, lower IQ, and other health effects in children—the element is still abundantly applied in paint products, with lead concentrations sometimes up to 100 times higher than what’s permitted in the US.
The Philippines had long been a prime example of this. Just ten years ago, local activist Manny Calonzo decided to test the paint in his home country—the first person to publicly do so. Calonzo had long been involved in consumer safety, working for Consumers International in Penang, Malaysia, in the late 90s. After he returned to his home country, in 2008, he became president of pollution watchdog EcoWaste Coalition, a network of more than 150 environmental groups based in Quezon City.
The improper disposal of burned-out fluorescent lamps can pollute the environment with mercury posing health and safety hazards, especially to uninformed and unprotected waste workers.
The EcoWaste Coalition, a non-profit toxics watch group, gave the public a word of warning about this threat of mercury pollution to human health and the ecosystems with the release of its new report “The Toxic Silence of the Lamps.”