For decades plastic producers have been manufacturing a lie about the recyclability of plastics to justify a toxic and unsustainable industry. The industry manipulation is revealed in an important documentary, Plastic Wars, a Frontline investigation from PBS and NPR. IPEN leader Yuyun Ismawati is featured in the exposé guiding the film crew through communities where a tsunami of plastic waste has been dumped in Indonesia. The images of plastic waste inundating streets and looming over people’s homes is the tip of the iceberg. International shipments of plastic waste from countries in the global north, including the US, EU, Australia and others, shipped and dumped in in the global south, are poisoning food sources and creating dangerous public health hazard. The recent report Plastic Waste Poison’s Indonesia’s Food Chain demonstrates how toxic plastics inundate food sources and imperil human health and the environment.
The Basel Ban Amendment forbids the export of hazardous waste for recycling or disposal from Annex VII countries (OECD Member States, EU Member States or Liechtenstein) to non-Annex VII countries (primarily developing and transition countries). The Ban Amendment benefits all countries. By prohibiting hazardous waste exports from developed countries, the Basel Ban Amendment helps protect developing and transition countries. For developed countries, the Basel Ban Amendment provides incentives for both waste prevention and green design. Currently, there is a large gap between the number of Basel Convention Parties (187) and number of Ban Amendment ratifications.
IPEN Participating Organizations in Australia, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Croatia, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, and Senegal also conducted activities to encourage governments to ratify the Ban Amendment. These activities and the Guide are part of IPEN's Toxics-Free Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Campaign, and relate to SDGs 3, 6, 8, 11, 12 and 13. Details about the activities can be found here.
IPEN’s 2020 Global Meeting and Forum on Chemicals and Waste took place in Bishoftu, Ethiopia, from the 6th – 10th of February. More than 100 environmental, health and human rights leaders from over 50 countries came together to share the work they do locally and globally to ensure a just and healthy future for everyone by eliminating harm to human health and the environment from toxic chemicals.
IPEN’s new short video about women and chemicals honors many of the women environmental health scientists and advocates dedicated to a world in which toxic chemicals are no longer produced or used in ways that harm human health and the environment. The video makes the case that attention to the differential impacts of toxic substances on women and girls as well as the differential exposure risks is fundamental to effective and sound management of chemicals and waste. Please watch and share.
Alarming levels of some of the most toxic chemicals, including brominated dioxins and brominated flame retardants, were found in consumer products made of recycled plastics sold in Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, the EU, India, Japan and Nigeria.
Giving hazardous material to children to play with, we can agree, is a terrible idea. But the Canadian government, by allowing some of the most toxic chemicals in the world to be included in recycling, has done just that. Dangerous flame-retardant chemicals, which have been banned globally, can be found in children’s toys and home products that are made of recycled plastics because of one bad policy.
by Faye Leone, Content Editor, SDGs and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (US)
NGOs in five countries studied playground equipment as part of their participation in the International Pollutants Elimination Network, and found lead levels as high as 100,000 ppm in the equipment paint.
The recommended limit by UNEP is 90 ppm.
IPEN is calling for lead paint bans to include industrial paint on outdoor equipment, not only decorative paint, to protect children's health.
Children’s playgrounds in Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines and Thailand commonly contain painted equipment with lead levels above 90 ppm, the recommended limit by UN Environment Program (UNEP). Organizations in each country studied playground equipment as part of their participation in the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), a group of NGOs working to prevent toxic chemicals from harming human health and the environment.