IPEN and BAN call for stronger controls in upcoming Conference to the Parties of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions
Monday, 22 April 2019
(Göteborg, Sweden): New research from IPEN and Basel Action Network (BAN) reveals dire human exposures and food chain contamination from highly toxic plastics in waste in Ghana that includes toxic e-waste shipped from Europe. Researchers have found the highest levels of brominated and chlorinated dioxins— some of the most hazardous chemicals on Earth— ever measured in free-range chicken eggs in Agbogbloshie, Ghana. The contamination results primarily from the breaking apart of discarded electronics (e-waste) and burning plastics to recover metals. Plastics from vehicle upholstery are also burned on the site and contribute to the contamination.
Researchers analyzed the eggs of free-range chickens that forage in the Agbogbloshie slum, home to an estimated 80,000 people who subsist primarily by retrieving and selling copper cable and other metals from e-waste. The process of smashing and burning the plastic casing and cables, to extract the metals, releases dangerous chemicals found within the plastics, such as brominated flame retardants, and creates highly toxic by-product chemicals like brominated and chlorinated dioxins and furans. The sampling of eggs revealed alarmingly high levels of some of the most hazardous and banned chemicals in the world, including dioxins, brominated dioxins, PCBs, PBDE and SCCPs.
A recent legal opinion from the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation Law Corporation has determined Canada’s refusal to repatriate 103 shipping containers of garbage illegally dumped in the Philippines in 2013 and 2014 to be in violation of the Basel Convention.
A new report on plastics and toxic additives has been released. This report was prepared by the Marine Litter Topic Group lead by the Stockholm Convention Regional Centre in Spain as part of its activities under the Convention on the impact of plastic waste, marine plastic litter, microplastics and measures for their prevention and environmentally sound management. Several IPEN Participating Organizations and IPEN Science Advisors contributed to this report. Click here to read the full report.
Global Partnership for Action on Plastic Waste Also Proposed
Thursday, 06 September 2018
Geneva. 6 September 2018. The 11th Meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention, the world's only international treaty on waste control, concluded with widespread and growing support for a proposal by Norway to add plastic waste to the list of wastes subject to the trade controls under the convention. The proposal is seen as a key mechanism to stem the tide of marine debris and plastic litter.
Dear President Juncker, We are writing to express concerns surrounding EU actions on setting hazardous waste limits for short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) under the Basel and Stockholm Conventions. This is an issue which has horizontal implications for issues such as circular economy, health, environment and internal market, each of which is affected by what hazardous waste limits are set for SCCPs. The Basel Convention Open-Ended Working (OEWG11) will discuss this issue for SCCPs and other substances at their meeting next week, 3-6 September 20181. Governments will finalize these limits at the Conferences of Parties for the treaties in April/May 20192. The EU has an important role to play as the nominator of SCCPs for listing in the Stockholm Convention, but its current proposal raises questions about its commitment to the Convention’s objectives.
(Göteborg, Sweden) The EU is advocating for hazardous waste limits under two UN treaties that could allow significant releases of a globally-banned chemical contaminate new products made of recycled plastic, and result in waste dumping in developing countries. Basel OEWG11 will tackle the issue 3 – 7 September in Geneva.