(Anchorage, Alaska, US): With a unanimous vote, the Anchorage Assembly passed Assembly Ordinance 2019-15(S), an ordinance prohibiting certain consumer products containing flame retardant chemicals at the March 19 regular assembly meeting. This landmark public health ordinance now stands among the strongest laws in the nation.
“One of the core values of ACAT is the elimination of chemicals that harm environmental and human health and to replace them with safe alternatives,” said Pamela Miller, Executive Director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) and Co-Chair of IPEN. “There is considerable peer-reviewed scientific information about the adverse health effects of flame-retardant chemicals including cancer and neurodevelopmental and reproductive toxicity. This ordinance moves our city one step closer to eliminating the unnecessary use of harmful flame retardants in all household products. We appreciate the work of the Anchorage Assembly to achieve its passage,” she said.
A new report on plastics and toxic additives has been released. This report was prepared by the Marine Litter Topic Group lead by the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Spain as part of its activities under the Convention on the impact of plastic waste, marine plastic litter, microplastics and measures for their prevention and environmentally sound management. Several IPEN Participating Organizations and IPEN Science Advisors contributed to this report. Click here to read the full report.
UNEA-4 Agreement Does Not Deliver at Scale and Urgency Needed
Friday, 15 March 2019
Nairobi, Kenya – At the 4thsession of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), member states of the UN Environment Programme failed to meet expectations to confront the ever-growing plastic-pollution crisis threatening our waterways, ecosystems, and health.
At UNEA-4, member states considered several resolutions designed to increase international action to halt plastic pollution. The first, proposed by Norway, Japan, and Sri Lanka, sought to strengthen international cooperation and coordination on marine plastic litter and microplastics, including through considering a possible new legally binding agreement. The second, proposed by India, sought to promote the phase-out single-use plastics worldwide.
With six other health and environment groups, IPEN has written a letter to European Environment Ministers and members of the EU Parliament and Commission to express concerns about toxic recycling. In the letter, the NGOs call on them to adopt strict and protective limits for PBDEs in articles and waste into the POPs Regulation, so that the EU will comply with its obligations stemming from the Stockholm Convention.
This letter addresses the European Parliament and Council decision on the reform of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that was announced in late February. Hailed as protective for health, the decision will actually cause more children to be exposed to hazardous flame-retardant chemicals associated with thyroid disruption and neurological deficits. The decision permits high levels of hazardous brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) that are in electronics waste, including those already banned by the Stockholm Convention, to be allowed in recycled plastics.
The Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Regional Meeting for Asia Pacific was held from March 4th-8th, 2019 in Suzhou, China.
IPENers from four different countries participated in the meeting representing the Asia Pacific region of IPEN.
Prior to the regional meeting, an IPEN preparatory meeting was held, along with an experience-sharing session with students from Duke University and fellow NGOs from China. This was organized by Shenzhen Zero Waste at Duke University, Kunshan, and took place on March 3rd.