Targets, indicators and milestones are a key component of the new "Beyond 2020" chemical safety agreement because they provide an important measure of what the new agreement will accomplish. IPEN has prepared a thought starter that proposes targets, indicators and milestones that reflect tangible outcomes to reduce harms in the real world and links these results to the achievement of defined Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) reports that, responding to the research-based campaign led by CEPHED, and in close coordination with all other concerned organizations and stakeholders, the Honorable Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health and Population, Upendra Yadav of Nepal, has taken the very progressive decision to ban the use of mercury dental amalgam and mercury-based equipment in Nepal on 21 August, effectively moving Nepal towards Mercury-Free Dentistry and Health Care Services.
From 19 – 20 August, 2019, the IPEN Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) Regional Workshop was held in Volgograd, Russia. The workshop was conducted by Eco-Accord - the IPEN EECCA Regional Hub, and by "Volgograd-Ecopress" Information Centre.
The workshop participants discussed activities of IPEN member-organisations and civic organisations of Volgograd, Volzhsky, Rostov, Saratov, and Krasnodar, that deal with addressing complex issues of safe waste management, access to environmental information, and public participation in decision-making on matters of environmental significance. IPEN activities at the international level were presented, as well as specific projects of the Network's member-organisations in different countries and their participation in IPEN global campaigns.
National and international environmental health organizations are urging the Canadian government to ratify the BAN Amendment to the Basel Convention and end the exportation of waste to developing countries. One of the primary objectives of the Basel Convention is to have countries take responsibility for their own wastes in their own country and, in particular, stop the practice of exporting wastes to developing countries.
A movement bidding good riddance to bad trash is growing across South East Asia, and it should spark an international reckoning with how we have been dealing with plastic waste, recycling, and responsibility.
China closed its doors in 2018 to nearly a million tons of mixed plastic waste shipments, and with it, the inevitable toxic pollution to land, air, and groundwater that comes with plastic waste. All plastics contain toxic additives, many of which have negative health impacts. In the wake of China’s decision, the developed waste exporting nations set their plastic recycling on course to other South East Asian countries that were soon overwhelmed by the massive trashing.
In May, world governments gave developing countries a tool to resist the deluge of plastic mixed waste shipments through the UN Basel Convention. The US is not a signatory to the treaty, yet attempted to block the decision. The US obstruction failed, and 184 of the world’s governments created new regulations that require waste exporting countries to declare the content of mixed waste shipments and enables receiving countries to refuse plastic waste imports.
The Prime Minister’s announcement and COAG support for a ban on waste exports should be cautiously welcomed and is long overdue following the embarrassing revelations of Australian illegal waste dumping in South East Asia. However, it seems certain that the announcement is designed to distract from a major government push to burn Australia’s waste in polluting incinerators: an industry it quietly supports. As noted by some media reports on the announcement, the government “was exploring using waste in energy plants to power Australian homes.”