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A Toxics-Free Future


IPEN Leader Griffins Ochieng Speaks Against US Dumping Plastics and Chemicals in Africa

The American Chemistry Council, the lobbying group representing the largest fossil fuel and petrochemical companies on earth, is working behind the scenes “to influence United States trade negotiations with Kenya” aiming to dump the world’s growing colossus of plastic and chemicals waste in Africa, according to reports from the New York Times ("Big Oil Is in Trouble. Its Plan: Flood Africa with Plastic" 30 Aug 2020) and the Associated Press ("Oil companies accused of wanting to dump plastics in Africa." 1 Sept 2020).

IPEN Steering Committee member Griffins Ochieng, of CEJAD (Center for Environmental Justice and Development) commented for both articles. “The chemistry council’s plastics proposals would “inevitably mean more plastic and chemicals in the environment,” said Ochieng. “It’s shocking.” In response to clogged waterways, Kenya imposed a country-wide plastic bag ban in 2017, putting it in the forefront of opposition to plastic waste, which contains toxic additives and can break down into smaller particles that enter food and water systems. “Africa is looking like a new dumping ground, we are not going to allow that,” Ochieng said.

For more on toxic plastics and weak controls on their trade and disposal, visit our Toxic Plastics page.