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A Toxics-Free Future

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Southeast Asia

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1840279/activists-decry-plastic-ban...

Bangkok Post

Increase in waste imports from China may mean no net decrease from government plan

The recent ban on single-use plastic bags at major retailers created a stir for consumers and businesses, with social media abuzz with workarounds such as shoppers using wheelbarrows and stockings to carry off their 7-Eleven hauls.

Groups urge the government to ratify the Basel Ban Amendment to prevent the entry of imported trash into the country, as the remaining imported trash left Tagoloan port for South Korea, where it came from.

https://globalnation.inquirer.net/183235/last-batch-of-imported-trash-se...

By Jigger J. Jerusalem - @inquirerdotnet – Inquirer Mindanao

Environment activists urge government to ban all types of waste importation as the remaining 5,177 metric tons of wastes from South Korea are being shipped back to their country of origin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO (from EcoWaste Coalition)

(Over 5,000 tons of illegal waste imports from South Korea to be shipped back on January 19 and February 9)

Quezon City.  The phase-out of all types of lead-containing paints in the Philippines is an excellent example of a successful chemical policy directive aimed at preventing and reducing children’s exposure to lead, a highly toxic substance, from paints.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/30/world/asia/indonesia-gold-environment-mercury.html

One large mining company is trying to shut illegal operations, which use mercury. The small-scale miners say there’s no other way to earn a living.

By Richard C. Paddock

Photographs by Adam Dean

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/19/world/asia/indonesia-dioxin-plastic-tofu.html

New York Times

The Indonesian government pushed back on an international study that found high levels of dioxin in a village where plastic is burned to produce tofu.

By Richard C. Paddock

 

Today, at the opening session of the Mercury Treaty COP3, Mr. Koichiro Matsunaga, Minamata Disease Patient, addressed the delegates in plenary. In a moving statement, Mr. Matsunaga, who was exposed to mercury in the womb, reminded delegates of the real-life implications of mercury poisoning. Born in 1963, Mr. Matsunaga could not walk until 7 years old due to Minamata Disease. Despite his disabilities, he enjoyed riding bicycles, but in 2010, it became difficult for him to walk because of increasing pain, which forced him to live in a wheelchair. He stated, "Minamata disease is not over yet. Problems have not been solved yet. I do not want to see any more children suffer like us." He implored delegates: "Please take appropriate control of mercury for future children. I need the whole world to avoid causing any more tragedy by mercury."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/14/world/asia/indonesia-tofu-dioxin-plas...

Plastic waste from America, collected for recycling, is shipped to Indonesia. Some is burned as fuel by tofu makers, producing deadly chemicals and contaminating food.

By Richard Paddock

TROPODO, Indonesia — Black smoke billows from smokestacks towering above the village. The smell of burning plastic fills the air. Patches of black ash cover the ground. It’s another day of making tofu.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-50392807

The burning of plastic waste in Indonesia, much of which has been sent there by the West, is poisoning the food chain, the BBC has learned.

Environmental group IPEN found, in one East Java village, toxic dioxins in chicken eggs 70 times the level allowed by European safety standards.

Long-term exposure to the chemicals is linked to cancer, damage to the immune system and developmental issues.

A small mine on Sumbawa. Miners often dig for ore on land without permission or government permits. Credit...Adam Dean for The New York Times

New York Times - Hidden Cost of Gold

By

CIDAHU, Indonesia — Thousands of children with crippling birth defects. Half a million people poisoned. A toxic chemical found in the food supply. Accusations of a government cover-up and police officers on the take.

This is the legacy of Indonesia’s mercury trade, a business intertwined with the lucrative and illegal production of gold.

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