IPEN studies show how policy is driving massive investment in plastic waste-to-fuel processing, and that exports are threatening waste management in ASEAN countries and undermining the Basel Convention and climate change commitments.
Since the early 1990s, the production of alternative fuels has become a quite popular waste management option in different countries. Solid Recover Fuel (SRF) is considered as a complementary intervention to preparing the residual waste stream for material recovery or disposal in landfills. The treatment processes that produce waste-derived fuels have been widely implemented in some countries.
Press Release Embargoed Release Embargo Lifts: 2022 Mar 1 at 0900 Manila (PST) (1AM UTC) Attn: Environment and Global Health News Contacts: Björn Beeler, IPEN: firstname.lastname@example.org Jane Bremmer, National Toxics Network/Zero Waste Australia: email@example.com
Australia’s ‘trojan horse’ plastics waste policy fuels toxic trade across Asia
Gothenburg, Sweden The International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) has published a series of studies that reveal how Australia’s new waste policies are driving massive investment in plastic waste-to-fuel processing, and that the country’s exports are threatening waste management in ASEAN countries. This is despite the country announcing it would stop exporting unprocessed wastes in 2020, after China and other Southeast Asian countries banned plastic waste imports, starting in 2018.
Jane Bremmer, campaign coordinator for Zero Waste Australia, says: “Australia has effectively rebranded plastic waste as refuse-derived fuel (RDF), so it can continue to trade waste exports.”
The NGO adds that Australia’s stance is undermining the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, as well as global climate change commitments.
Ms. Bremmer continues: “We are concerned about Australia's ‘trojan horse’ plastic waste policy and the ability of Southeast Asian countries to safely handle refuse-derived fuel wastes. We also want to be clear that burning RDF cannot be considered green, or a low carbon source of electricity or energy. RDF will compete with and displace clean, renewable energy in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, and the lack of any international standards or regulatory framework for its production, trade and use, is a threat to health, environment and human rights, especially in developing countries.”
The hybrid meeting of the fifth United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-5), entitled “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”, and its preparatory (the Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives – OECPR), will focus on five thematic areas: plastics, nature-based solutions and biodiversity, chemicals, green recovery and circular economy, and organizational and administrative matters. IPEN has sent an international delegation to contribute to the in-person negotiations.
Under the plastic pollution thematic area, the main focus will be on discussing a mandate to start negotiation of a treaty on plastic. If agreed, the mandate would convene an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to negotiate a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution. Under consideration are three draft resolutions: one proposed by Rwanda and Peru and supported by over 50 countries; another by Japan; and the last one proposed by India. Details about these proposals and IPEN’s positions can be found in IPEN’s Quick Views on UNEA 5.2.
Under the chemicals thematic area there are 3 resolutions that will be discussed. In our quick views we focus on two resolutions: one on the Science-Policy Panel on chemicals, waste, and pollution and the resolution on Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste. In our quick views and global science policy documents, we outline many specific issues and recommendations, highlighting the need for precautionary action and as well as adequate funding for the sound management of chemicals and waste.
Undoubtedly there is a lot of energy behind a new, ambitious instrument. However, there is still much work to be done on other issues, and increased efforts must be made to urgently address the Emerging Policy Issues and Issues of Concern such as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, Highly Hazardous Pesticides and Chemicals in Products. A coordinated international response to prevent all sources of lead, cadmium, and arsenic exposure before they are allowed to impact human health and pollute the environment would be welcome. A special effort should be on accelerating actions to eliminate lead paint, noting that this goal for 2020 has not yet been met.
IPEN Co-Chair outlines steps for addressing SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production)
Monday, 11 October 2021
Asked "What are the priorities for achieving the SDGs* within the context of the sustainable consumption and production SDG?" at the 8 July 2021 Berlin Forum on Chemical Sustainability: Ambition and Action towards 2030 Stakeholder Dialog, IPEN Co-Chair Dr. Tadesse Amera focused on four topics:
eliminating the international double-standard,
creating a better financial structure,
recognizing the dangers of chemical additives in plastics, and
the important contributions of youth to a better future.
This report is an assessment of the non-chemical pest management approaches used by smallholder vegetable farmers in the Lake Victoria region. The report documents the challenges faced by farmers practicing such approaches, as well as the general challenges facing adoption of agro-ecology in the region. The study was conducted as a case study in the counties of Siaya and Migori in the Lake Victoria region, south western Kenya. Information used in this report was gathered through literature review, interviews, field visits, and photography.
The Gujarat government decided to resume economic activities during the COVID-19 lockdown period in the state as per the Central Government Guidelines, and it received a widespread response. On the first day of re-opening of the industrial units on April 20, around 6,000 industries restarted their activities, and about 40,000 to 45,000 workers restarted their jobs. However, industrial associations said that not all those who got permission to re-open were able to start operations due to a labor shortage.
Under the situation of movement restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, there was the likelihood of increased generation of solid waste as a result of increased consumption, with increased accumulation due to working from homes and surges in household waste due to increased online shopping. New kinds of wastes, such as used face masks and hand gloves, empty hand sanitizer containers and other plastic materials, have also been introduced into the environment, and such wastes have become somewhat ubiquitous, with fly-tipping (illegal dumping) and improper disposal.