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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

Hazardous Waste

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Non-combustion techniques for the destruction of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) waste such as PCBs, dioxins and brominated flame retardants are urgently needed to destroy the world's growing stockpile of materials contaminated with the most dangerous contaminants on earth. Using incineration and cement kilns to attempt to destroy POPs only leads to the generation of more unintentionally produced POPs (UPOPs) in their emissions and solid waste. This new technical briefing paper from IPEN describes non-combustion techniques that have been commercialised and proven for the destruction of POPs. They are also considered to be more readily applicable to developing countries due to their less intensive capital and infrastructure requirements.

With six other health and environment groups, IPEN has written a letter to European Environment Ministers and members of the EU Parliament and Commission to express concerns about toxic recycling. In the letter, the NGOs call on them to adopt strict and protective limits for PBDEs in articles and waste into the POPs Regulation, so that the EU will comply with its obligations stemming from the Stockholm Convention. 

This letter addresses the European Parliament and Council decision on the reform of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that was announced in late February. Hailed as protective for health, the decision will actually cause more children to be exposed to hazardous flame-retardant chemicals associated with thyroid disruption and neurological deficits. The decision permits high levels of hazardous brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) that are in electronics waste, including those already banned by the Stockholm Convention, to be allowed in recycled plastics.

Press Release

(Prague, Brussels): The European Parliament and Council decision on the reform of the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) announced this week, hailed as protective for health, will cause more children to be exposed to hazardous flame-retardant chemicals associated with thyroid disruption and neurological deficits. The decision permits high levels of hazardous brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) that are in electronics waste, including those already banned by the Stockholm Convention, to be allowed in recycled plastics.  

Environmental Health News

https://www.ehn.org/plastic-pollution-and-human-health-2629322391.html

"Every stage of the plastic lifecycle poses significant risks to human health, and the majority of people worldwide are exposed to plastic at multiple stages of this lifecycle."

Press Release / Full Report / Executive Summary

Washington, DC—A new report released today reveals that plastic is a human health crisis hiding in plain sight. Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet, authored by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Earthworks, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), IPEN, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.), University of Exeter, and UPSTREAM, brings together research that exposes the distinct toxic risks plastic poses to human health at every stage of the plastic lifecycle, from extraction of fossil fuels, to consumer use, to disposal and beyond.

To date, research into the human health impacts of plastic have focused narrowly on specific moments in the plastic lifecycle, often on single products, processes, or exposure pathways. This approach fails to recognize that significant, complex, and intersecting human health impacts occur at every stage of the plastic lifecycle: from wellhead to refinery, from store shelves to human bodies, and from waste management to ongoing impacts of microplastics in the air, water, and soil. Plastic & Health presents the full panorama of human health impacts of plastic and counsels that any solution to the plastic crisis must address the full lifecycle.

According to the report, uncertainties and knowledge gaps often impede regulation and the ability of consumers, communities, and policymakers to make informed decisions. However, the full scale of health impacts throughout plastic’s lifecycle are overwhelming and warrant a precautionary approach. 

Campaign Activities

IPEN Participating Organizations (POs) around the world are carrying out activities related to the Toxics-Free SDGs Campaign. Started in 2018, these activities address themes such as agroecology, chemicals in products, endocrine disrupting chemicals, hazardous chemicals in the lifecycle of electronics, highly hazardous pesticides, lead in paint, women and chemicals, POPs, workplace right-to-know, and / or zero waste issues.

(BOC, EcoWaste Coalition Cheer Impending Re-Export of South Korean Garbage)

https://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com/2019/01/illegal-garbage-from-south-korea.html

Press Release

Quezon City. The governments of the Philippines and South Korea have reached agreement that will ensure the repatriation of some 6,500 tons of mixed wastes stranded at Misamis Oriental to their origin in Pyeongtaek City this January. 

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