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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

Highlights Front Roll

The Truth Behind the Plastic Curtain: Most Plastic is Not Recyclable
Working to Eliminate Harm to Human Health & the Environment from Toxic Chemicals
IPEN at the SAICM 3rd Intersessional Meeting
Global ban on PFOA: A win for our health and our planet!
"Unpleasant Truths" about Samsung Labor Practices
Basel Ban Amendment Prohibiting the Export of Hazardous Wastes Becomes Law
NGOs from 6 Countries Come Together in Russia for IPEN EECCA Regional Meeting

IPEN’s regional meeting for the South Asia Region was conducted from 17-19 April, 2019 in New Delhi, India. The three-day meeting with regional participating organizations (POs) was organized by Toxics Link, IPEN’s hub for South Asia Region. A total of 26 POs from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka participated in the event.

This was the first of its kind meeting and was very crucial in bringing the POs together to have a better understanding of each other’s work.

UN meeting gives countries the right to refuse unrecyclable, polluting plastics

(Geneva, Switzerland): Governments at the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) of the Basel Convention acted to restrict rampant plastic waste exports by requiring countries to obtain prior informed consent before exporting contaminated or mixed plastic waste. A deluge of plastic waste exports from developed countries has polluted developing countries in Southeast Asia after China closed the door to waste imports in 2018.

Major Plastic Waste Producers Must Get Consent Before Exporting their Toxic Trash to Global South

Geneva, Switzerland — Today, 187 countries took a major step forward in curbing the plastic waste crisis by adding plastic to the Basel Convention, a treaty that controls the movement of hazardous waste from one country to another. The amendments require exporters to obtain the consent of receiving countries before shipping most contaminated, mixed, or unrecyclable plastic waste, providing an important tool for countries in the Global South to stop the dumping of unwanted plastic waste into their country.

After China banned imports of most plastic waste in 2018, developing countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, have received a huge influx of contaminated and mixed plastic wastes that are difficult or even impossible to recycle. Norway's proposed amendments to the Basel Convention provides countries the right to refuse unwanted or unmanageable plastic waste.

Governments warn against use of fluorinated alternatives in fire-fighting foams and enact strict PFOS prohibitions

(Geneva, Switzerland): Governments at the 9thConference of the Parties (COP9) of the Stockholm Convention agreed to a global ban on PFOA – a chemical that does not break down and causes adverse health effects at background levels. The uses of PFOA and other fluorinated organic compounds (PFAS) are widespread across many industrial and domestic applications.  Fluorinated firefighting foams are a leading cause of water contamination with toxic chemicals that pollute breast milk and are associated with cancer, endocrine disruption, and harm to fetal development.

Unfortunately, governments also included a large number of unjustified five-year exemptions for PFOA use in semiconductor manufacturing, firefighting foams, textiles claimed to protect workers, photographic coatings for films, and medical devices. Surprisingly, China, European Union and Iran obtained additional wide-ranging exemptions for fluorinated polymers, medical textiles, electrical wires, and plastic accessories for car interior parts. All three countries participated in the evaluation process, but suddenly asked for the additional exemptions at the meeting. Even the fluorochemicals industry repeatedly opposed these additional exemption requests due to the wide availability of alternatives.

The Guardian

Toxins from old computers, fridges and other electronic goods are polluting chicken eggs in an area where 80,000 people live.

Some of the most hazardous chemicals on Earth are entering the food chain in Ghana from illegally disposed electronic waste coming from Europe.

In the run-up to the Rotterdam Convention's 9th Conference of the Parties (COP9), IPEN completed a "Views" document that addresses some issues that will be discussed at the COP9. These include enhancing effectiveness; compliance; amendments to Articles 16 & 22; listing HBCD, carbosulfan and chrysotile asbestos; and more.

The Views document can be read here.

(Geneva, Switzerland): Industry fire-safety experts from the oil and gas and aviation sectors are joining with firefighter trade unions and representatives of Indigenous Peoples to urge governments to protect human health and the environment with a global ban on the toxic chemical, PFOA, and to reject loopholes for its use in firefighting foams. The use of PFOA and other fluorinated organic compounds (PFAS) is widespread across many industrial and domestic applications including textiles, food packaging, stain and oil resistant treatments, and industrial processes.

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