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A Toxics-Free Future

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Western Europe

Move leaves door open to pushing toxics to poorer communities

In response to last week's European Commision announcement that it will allow trade of problematic plastic waste within the EU, IPEN and many other global and European environmental groups have lined up to voice their opposition. Amendments last year to the Basel Convention enhanced restrictions on global trade in waste, helping smaller nations or countries without the capacity to handle that waste reject it. These amendments were passed in response to countless human rights abuses, and environmental pollution caused by unregulated plastic waste dumping. Such problematic plastic wastes now will require prior consent by importing nations. However, the Commision's ruling leaves the door open for waste traders to shunt difficult-to-recycle plastics to substandard operations in poorer EU communities, as well as plastic waste to "waste-to-energy" incinerators in other EU countries.

In its press release, the groups claim that the move undermines both the EU's commitments to carbon neutrality and a circular economy, as well as its global leadership on plastic waste.

"How does bending current EU rules and creating double standards for the EU demonstrate any kind of global leadership?" asked Jim Puckett of the Basel Action Network, a global toxic trade watchdog organization. "How is the rest of the world going to take the EU seriously when they preach boldly on the global stage and then run back home to coddle their waste and plastics industries?"

A container full of imported plastic waste is inspected by the local environment office at the Batu Ampar port in Indonesia on June 15, 2019.
Photographer: Andaru/AFP via Getty Images

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/environment-and-energy/eu-moves-to-ban-cer...

The European Union plans to go further than an international treaty in restricting exports of plastic waste, potentially spelling problems for the bloc in dealing with hard-to-recycle material.

IPEN and Arnika Press Release

Environmental Health Groups Celebrate the End to EU Allowance for Banned Flame Retardant Chemicals to Enter Recycling Streams & New Products

(Gothenburg, Sweden) The European Union (EU) has taken an important step towards cleaning up its recycling; it will no longer allow materials containing a class of toxic, globally banned flame retardants known as PBDEs to be recycled. Researchers had revealed that across Europe, alarming levels of toxic banned flame retardants and related chemicals, which originated largely from discarded electronics equipment, were contaminating the recycling stream and new consumer goods made from recycled plastics. Environmental health advocates applaud the EU’s decision and encourage the six remaining countries with PBDE recycling exemptions to follow suit.

IPEN has joined 15 public interest NGOs and networks in providing critical comments on the draft European Union (EU) law on PFOA and PFOA-related compounds. In a letter dated 4 December 2019, NGOs noted that the proposed limit for PFOA in consumer products is not protective and not consistent with updated scientific information on the extreme toxicity of PFOA.

Brussels – Representatives from the European Member States in the EU Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCOPAFF) today voted to ban the neurotoxic pesticides chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl from the EU market, a historic move that has been applauded by health and environment groups [1].
 

Urgent action needed on highly persistent PFAS chemicals

Geneva

http://news.trust.org/item/20190501154612-8hyu4/

Negotiators from more than 180 countries are nearing agreement on a global ban on a toxic chemical linked to cancer and other health issues, but China is pushing for an exemption for use in firefighting foams, campaigners said on Wednesday.

(Göteborg, Sweden) Alarming levels of some of the most toxic chemicals, including brominated dioxins and brominated flame retardants, were found in consumer products made of recycled plastics sold in Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, the EU, India, Japan and Nigeria.

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