Tag Archives: EcoWaste Colaition

[Press Release] EcoWaste Coalition Backs PH Ratification of Treaty Outlawing Nuclear Weapons, Pushes Government to Also Ratify Basel Convention Ban Amendment

#HumanRights #RightToLife

EcoWaste Coalition Backs PH Ratification of Treaty Outlawing Nuclear Weapons, Pushes Government to Also Ratify Basel Convention Ban Amendment

The waste and pollution watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition has expressed support for Senate concurrence in the government‘s ratification of a global agreement banning nuclear weapons.

Last Thursday, January 21, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III as Chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations submitted proposed Senate Resolution 620 concurring in the Philippine ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Senate yesterday adopted the said resolution on second reading.

The treaty, which President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ratified on November 18, 2020, prohibits countries from producing, testing, acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons. It also bans the transfer of the weapons and forbids signatories from allowing any nuclear explosive device to be stationed, installed or deployed in their territory.

“We support our nation’s stance illegalizing nuclear weapons and urge all countries, especially the world’s nuclear powers, to do the same as well,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

The treaty entered into force on 22 January 2021 after being ratified by at least 50 countries.

“Even as we did not make it to the first 50 countries that ratified the treaty, the anticipated Senate concurrence in its ratification will reinforce the state policy for a country and, by extension, a world, free of nuclear weapons,” she said.

The group cited Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution stating that “the Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.”

While delighted with the country’s imminent ratification of the anti-nuclear weapons treaty, the EcoWaste Coalition pushed the government anew to also ratify the Basel Convention Ban Amendment, which entered into force on December 5, 2019.

The said amendment to the Basel Convention, adopted by countries to the said treaty in 1995, bans the export of hazardous wastes from developed to developing countries for reuse, recycling, disposal or recovery operations.

“Ratifying the Basel Convention Ban Amendment and imposing a national ban on waste importation will be our best legal protection against the nasty dumping into our shores of rubbish, including electronic, plastic and household wastes, from overseas,” said Lucero.

“Like the treaty banning nuclear weapons, the Basel Convention Ban Amendment is now an international law and we see no compelling reason for delaying further our country’s ratification of this agreement, which is in defense of the national interest and in sync with the president’s strong position against foreign waste dumping,” she concluded.

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc.

[Press Release] Customs Official Receives “Environmental Justice Award”-EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment

Customs Official Receives “Environmental Justice Award”

20 January 2021, Quezon City. The waste and pollution watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition presented the “Environmental Justice Award” to Bureau of Customs-Region 10 District Collector John Simon in a virtual ceremony held yesterday.

Simon, a customs official with 31 years of distinguished service in the government sector, is the lone recipient of the group’s first-ever “Environmental Justice Award” coinciding with the national observance of “Zero Waste Month” this January.

According to Eileen Sison, President of the EcoWaste Coalition, Simon is recognized “for his exemplary leadership, unfaltering dedication and focused action to protect public health and the environment from hazardous wastes from overseas, particularly in relation to the successful re-exportation in 2019-2020 of some 7,408 metric tons of illegal waste shipments from South Korea.”

“Simon’s decisive and unyielding action to uphold our country’s tariff and customs and environmental laws and the provisions of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal led to the completion of the re-exportation procedures last September 15 amid the COVID-19 challenges,” she said.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this special citation from the EcoWaste Coalition. This award from a non-profit watchdog group on chemicals and wastes will surely inspire my fellow customs officials and employees to persevere in our role as protector of our nation against foreign waste dumping,” said Simon.

“Environmental justice demands that we assert our sovereign right not to be treated as dumping ground for wastes from abroad that can put the health of our people and that of our ecosystems in harm’s way,” he emphasized. “This job is too big for one agency to accomplish, so I reach out to all sectors, especially to the environment department and Congress to take on this challenge and strictly ban waste imports like what other Asian countries have done.”

In a video message, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar hailed Simon as “a model in an office that most requires brave idealism.” He said: “One man stood to protest, fight and have the South Korean garbage returned to its country of origin. He braved diplomatic problems, armed with the law and port regulations, and consequently succeeded to uphold what is right by international and domestic practices and, most importantly, by what is just.”

Secretary Andanar likewise cited the EcoWaste Coalition: “We acknowledge the importance of the EcoWaste Coalition in its task of ensuring the balance of ecosystems with the unguarded effects of progress,” assuring the group of “sustained support with the information dissemination as needed.”

To prevent a repeat of foreign waste dumping incidents, Marian Ledesma, Campaigner of Greenpeace Philippines, pointed out that “a comprehensive waste importation ban is crucial for the Philippines as countries close their borders to foreign waste.”

“Exemptions and loopholes in our current regulation still allow the entry of dangerous substances. And so, Filipinos and the natural resources we rely on remain at risk for harms and contamination brought about by foreign waste. We cannot afford to become a prime destination for the world’s trash, as we end up shouldering the health and environmental costs of waste trade. To protect the country from future exploitation, the Philippine government must prohibit waste importation altogether,” she said.

To recall, contaminated waste shipments, falsely declared as “plastic synthetic flakes,” exported by Green Soko Co. Ltd. and consigned to Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corp. arrived in Misamis Oriental in July and October 2018 without prior import clearance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Customs and environmental authorities found unsorted plastic materials, household garbage, used dextrose tubes, soiled diapers, and discarded electronics in the bulk and containerized waste shipments in violation of national and international laws.

Authorities confirmed the shipments as “misdeclared, heterogenous and injurious to public health” and in blatant violation of Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, and DENR Administrative Order 2013-22, which states that “no importation of heterogenous and unsorted plastic materials shall be allowed.”

Following bilateral negotiations, the illegal waste shipments totalling 364 containers (equivalent to 7,408 metric tons) were returned to Pyeongtaek City in seven batches between January 13, 2019 to September 15, 2020.

According to both the EcoWaste Coalition and Greenpeace, “ratifying the Basel Convention Ban Amendment and preventing the entry of all waste imports into the country (including waste labeled for recycling) is the best strategy for countries such as the Philippines to protect its citizens and the environment from the harmful impacts of waste dumping.”

The Basel Convention Ban Amendment, which entered into force on December 5, 2019, prohibits the export of hazardous wastes from developed to developing countries.

EcoWaste Coalition

78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc.

[Press Release] Groups Push for Zero Waste Approach Amid Plans to Build 300 More Landfills by 2022-EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment

Groups Push for Zero Waste Approach Amid Plans to Build 300 More Landfills by 2022

Environmental advocates have weighed in on the plan of the government to construct 300 more landfills by 2022.

Through a press statement, leaders of the Bangon Kalikasan Movement, Mother Earth Foundation and the EcoWaste Coalition appealed to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to reconsider its plan to build more landfills across the country and to focus its efforts in enforcing the salient provisions of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

Republic Act 9003 provides for a comprehensive and ecological approach to managing discards primarily through waste prevention, reduction, segregation at source, reuse, recycling, and composting, excluding open dumping, open burning, and waste incineration.

The 20-year old law, enacted in the aftermath of the deadly Payatas dumpsite tragedy, requires the country’s over 42,000 barangays to develop ecological solid waste management programs, promote waste separation at source, enforce a segregated collection for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, and establish Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in every barangay or cluster of barangays.

The said law further prohibits, among other things, the manufacture, distribution or use of non-environmentally acceptable packaging materials; the importation of consumer products packaged in non-environmentally acceptable materials; and the importation of toxic wastes misrepresented as “recyclable” or “with recyclable content.”

“DENR should concentrate on implementing RA 9003 and not build more disposal sites such as landfills. This plan will encourage the people not to practice source segregation and also promote the collection of mixed waste,” said Sonia Mendoza, Chairman, Mother Earth Foundation. “An Extended Producer Responsibility Law and banning single-use plastic packaging will greatly decrease the amount of residual waste that will have to be disposed of in landfills.”

For his part, Joey Papa, President of the Bangon Kalikasan Movement, asked: “How many more hundreds of hectares will be covered by these landfills, which are actually garbage dump sites? Why not use precious, diminishing areas of land for reforestation as shield against storms and typhoons, and as a source of food and livelihood for the people especially in critical times like this pandemic, made worse by global warming and climate change?”

“We must collectively and constantly exert efforts, in our homes and communities, to decrease the use of non-biodegradable materials, to be recycled; immediately eliminate single-use plastics which must be totally banned; and increase the use of biodegradable and plant-based resources, with the excess to be composted. This will reduce centralized collection by 60%-80% as successfully proven by BKM and its partner communities since 2003,” he said.

“We call on the DENR to seriously consider this proposition, our appeal for the longest time,” Papa said, in view of the agency’s recent announcement that it will set up 300 more so-called “sanitary” landfills, until 2022. There are now 189.

“Landfills are designed to serve as sinkholes for the refuse of the present generation. Thus, they unjustly become veritable graves for the resources that are valuable for reuse and use by the future generations. It should not be the backbone of the nation’s solid waste management strategy on the basis of practical, ethical, health and environmental grounds,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, recalling the group’s Unity Statement adopted at its founding conference on 14 January 2000.

As the Zero Waste Month is celebrated this January in line with Proclamation 760, the groups urge national government agencies and local government units to work toward realizing the Zero Waste vision, goal and action plan to rid cities, municipalities and barangays of toxic dumpsites and incinerators and to keep the environment safe from chemical, plastic and waste pollutants.

“R.A. 9003 stresses waste avoidance and volume reduction through the adoption of best practices in ecological waste management, but the preference for quick fix solutions such as landfills and incinerators, including waste-to-energy burn technologies, persists among some of our government officials,” the groups noted.

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc.

[Statement] Declare Climate Emergency Now, Pursue the Path toward Zero Waste and Toxics-Free Society -EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #ClimateEmergency Declare Climate Emergency Now, Pursue the Path toward Zero Waste and Toxics-Free Society

We, member groups of the EcoWaste Coalition, express our solidarity with the urgent plea made by climate-action and -justice advocates urging the government to declare, amid a raging health pandemic, a climate emergency in response to the massive destruction in the Philippines brought about by the climate crisis. The litany of typhoons brought by the climate crisis destroyed lives and communities that Covid19 “spared” thus far.

It can neither be denied nor ignored that we are in a climate crisis. Now more than ever, our vulnerable people — who bear the brunt of a warming planet — are experiencing first-hand the cruel consequences of climate change as manifested in our series of battles against more frequent and more destructive weather disturbances, which are claiming lives and causing massive damages to homes and communities, food, agriculture and fisheries sectors and the ecosystems that provide vital goods and services for sustaining the people’s well-being.

As our nation continues to suffer from the atrocious impacts of climate change, we believe that those responsible for this deepening crisis, especially the corporate polluters and forest and biodiversity destroyers and their financiers, must be held to account for their environmental crimes. Public officials who continue to ignore the real causes and effects of climate change, and the need for decisive and urgent actions must likewise be held liable for their inability to protect public health and the environment.

To put climate action and justice at the heart of the government’s policy and program, we urge President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to declare a State of Climate Emergency NOW. Such a declaration will compel the government and society to acknowledge that we live in and are seriously threatened by the climate crisis. Our government must lead urgent actions and devise strategies and measures not just to address, prepare, and adapt in such a crisis but also thrive in a consistent, holistic, sustainable and whole-of-society manner to reduce if not avoid its impacts on people, species and the ecosystems.

We strongly believe that the declaration of a State of Climate Emergency will pave the way for the urgent implementation of climate action strategies and plans to address the vulnerabilities of most impacted sectors and communities, including the suspension of environmentally destructive and climate change driving activities, the allocation of funds for climate mitigation and adaptation to protect, repair and rehabilitate destroyed ecosystems, and to increase society’s adaptive capacity and resilience, and reduce the crisis’ economic, environmental, health and social costs. Our government must also use and prioritize in our COVID-19 recovery efforts policies and programs to address this longer-term climate emergency and not simply put in place stop-gap and short term measures.

This declaration will also drive the country towards more ambitious mitigation measures that faithfully adhere to our Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, it will speed up our efforts to transition towards healthy, sustainable energy and away from fossil fuels, including false solutions such as waste-to-energy incineration that are designed to perpetuate the extraction from, exploitation and destruction of our environment and natural resources.

To this end, we further urge the government to embrace Zero Waste and Clean Production as key strategies for protecting the climate and our people and for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These strategies are proven to conserve energy and raw materials, stimulate product design for environmental sustainability and local economic development, mainstream the precautionary principle, promote substitution of hazardous chemicals, reduce waste and pollution from extraction, manufacturing, transportation and disposal, create jobs and livelihoods, support local self-reliance and a local circular economy.

Finally, we urge the government to ban single-use plastic, reduce plastic production, use and packaging waste, issue the list of non-environmentally acceptable products and packaging, stop waste importation, and halt deceptive schemes undermining Zero Waste, including the co-processing of waste in cement kilns and waste-to-energy incineration.

Declare a climate emergency now, and pursue the path toward a zero waste and toxics- and fossil fuel-free society!

Eileen B. Sison
President, EcoWaste Coalition
EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc.

[Press Release] Waste trade persists because gov’t not doing enough to stop it: Greenpeace – EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment Waste trade persists because gov’t not doing enough to stop it: Green groups

QUEZON City — The Philippines will remain a preferred destination for waste shipments as long as the government continues to refuse calls to enforce a comprehensive ban on all waste imports, environment groups Greenpeace Philippines and EcoWaste Coalition warned today following the interception of US waste materials at the Subic Bay International Terminal on Wednesday.

A shipment of mixed waste from the United States was intercepted at Subic Bay International Terminal Corp last October 21, 2020, © Bureau of Customs

This latest waste importation incident involving containers loaded with mixed waste (including old cardboard, plastic packaging, and used face masks) which was missed declared as old corrugated cartons, shows how richer countries, like the US, continue to prey on the Philippines’ loose regulations on waste importation.

Data from The Last Beach Cleanup shows that while the volume of plastic waste imports from the US has decreased since 2019, the Philippines still imported over a million kilograms of plastic waste from the US from January to August 2020 alone [1]. However, this data does not include unreported or misreported waste imports which continue to hound the country.

“Waste trade continues to happen because it is permitted,” Greenpeace Philippines Campaigner Marian Ledesma said. “The fact that we continue to be a dumping ground of countries like the US shows that the government has not been doing enough to stop waste imports: the sad reality is that we don’t have strong policies in place to prevent it.”

Greenpeace and EcoWaste have been calling on the Duterte administration to ratify the Basel Convention Ban Amendment [2], which will align Philippine policies with global efforts to curb waste trade, as well as certify as urgent the pending bills calling for a comprehensive ban on waste importation. So far, there has not been significant movement on the two much-needed policy actions.

A shipment of mixed waste from the United States was intercepted at Subic Bay International Terminal Corp last October 21, 2020, © Bureau of Customs

“To put an end to foreign waste dumping, the government must see to it that these twin legal measures are acted upon without further delay. The ratification of the Basel Convention Ban Amendment and a total ban on waste importation will send a strong message that the Philippines is not a dumping ground and that rich countries must take full responsibility for managing their waste instead of exporting them to other countries,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

According to the two groups, there is now a greater imperative to ensure the two policy measures are enacted. The current COVID crisis has caused a tremendous increase in waste generation globally, which may translate to a rise in the volume of illegal waste imported to countries like the Philippines. In Southeast Asia, the Philippines may continue to be a likely destination; its neighbors have announced impending, or are already implementing, strong waste import regulations or bans [3].

Ledesma said that by continuing to accept garbage from other countries, the government is opening up our nation to exploitation, which aggravates the country’s health and environmental problems. “This is a great injustice to Filipino communities. Illegal shipments have resulted in added waste management costs shouldered by Filipinos, community exposure to hazardous waste, and environmental contamination. These injustices are bound to occur again and again until the Philippines bans waste imports completely.”

A March 2020 report [4], co-published by Greenpeace and Ecowaste, details the policy loopholes that turn the Philippines into a dumping ground for developed countries. Aside from ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment, the country must also streamline the definition of “waste” in the Philippine laws, as well as implement stringent monitoring systems to ensure the proper handling of imported waste, which are often exploited by origin countries and regions.

Notes to editors:

[1] The Last Beach Cleanup October 2020 Plastics Exports & Facts Briefing https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dRpL3kMN4gRIdHIMRkhfkKLKIQ5d9AKi/view

[2] The Philippines has yet to ratify the Basel Ban Amendment, which prohibits the export of hazardous wastes from developed to developing countries.

[3] Indonesia and Malaysia have both ratified the Basel Convention Ban Amendment. Thailand has announced its goal to end imports of waste by 2021, while Vietnam plans to ban plastic scrap imports by 2025. https://www.cfr.org/in-brief/trash-trade-wars-southeast-asias-problem-worlds-waste

[4] “Waste trade and the Philippines: How local and global policy instruments can stop the tide of foreign waste dumping in the country”


EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc.

[Press Release] Toxics Watchdog Group Exposes Online Sale of Liquid Mercury and Mercury-Added Products -EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Health [Press Release] Toxics Watchdog Group Exposes Online Sale of Liquid Mercury and Mercury-Added Products

It’s not only mercury-containing skin whitening cosmetics that are being sold online.

The EcoWaste Coalition made the shocking discovery after finding mercury thermometers, which are used to measure body temperature, and sphygmomanometers, which are used to measure blood pressure, as well as liquid mercury in flask containers, being sold illegally by third-party dealers in e-commerce marketplaces.

The group had previously aired its concern over the sale on popular online shopping platforms of skin whitening products banned by health authorities for containing mercury compounds, which are forbidden in cosmetic formulations.

The group’s latest toxic alert coincided with the 7th anniversary of the signing of the Minamata Convention on Mercury on October 10, 2013, by the government of the Philippines at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries held in Kumamoto, Japan. It also coincided with the 10.10 super sale today in some online shopping sites.

“We remind consumers to be cautious and alert to the dangers of buying and using mercury and mercury-added products that are illegally being offered for sale by online dealers,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Mercury is highly toxic,” he emphasized, “so we advise consumers to seek out mercury-free products,” stressing that the enforcement of mercury-related policies and regulations, including the environmentally sound management of mercury wastes, should be actively supported.

The group had already notified lead regulatory agencies, particularly the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about the alarming use of digital commerce to vend mercury and banned mercury-added products in direct contravention of the country’s mercury policies and regulations.

The group had reported to the FDA Center for Device Regulation, Radiation Health and Research (FDA-CDRRHR) the online sale of mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers in non-compliance with DOH A.O. 2008-0021 titled “Gradual Phase-Out of Mercury in All Philippine Health Care Facilities and Institutions,” which phased out mercury-containing medical devices in September 2010.

“As civil society representative to the interagency committee that developed the National Action Plan for the Phase-Out of Mercury Added Products and the Management of the Associated Mercury-Containing Wastes, we are concerned that the unchecked online sale of mercury-containing medical devices goes against the government’s policy of preventing and controlling mercury emissions and releases pursuant to the Minamata Convention,” wrote the group.

To address the problem, the group requested the FDA to make a policy issuance reiterating the ban on mercury medical devices. In response, the FDA-CDRRHR confirmed they will “facilitate the development of the requested policy banning or prohibiting the manufacture, importation, distribution, and sale of thermometers and sphygmomanometers with mercury.”

In a separate letter to the EMB, which was co-signed by Ban Toxics and Health Care Without Harm, the EcoWaste Coalition requested the bureau to get to the bottom of the illegal online sale of liquid mercury, which may be diverted to uses prohibited by law such as mineral processing.

DENR A.O. 2019-20, or the Revised Chemical Control Order (CCO) for Mercury and Mercury Compounds, “prohibits the use of mercury and mercury compounds and mercury-added products for artisanal and small-scale gold mining and any other related mining activities” in line with Executive Order 79.

EMB had informed the EcoWaste Coalition that it had prepared a memorandum to the bureau’s legal division.

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc.

[Press Release] Environmental Health and Justice Groups Laud Removal of 7,408 Metric Tons of South Korean Garbage from Misamis Oriental -EcoWaste Coalition

Environmental Health and Justice Groups Laud Removal of 7,408 Metric Tons of South Korean Garbage from Misamis Oriental
(Protecting the Philippines from illegal waste traffic knows no pandemic, assert groups)

“Goodbye garbage from South Korea.”

The EcoWaste Coalition and other environmental health and justice groups expressed jubilation with the final re-shipment of the remaining containers of illegal trash imports from South Korea amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As confirmed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC-Region 10) with the EcoWaste Coalition last Friday, the re-exportation of the remaining 43 containers of illegal waste shipments from South Korea (equivalent to 1,036 metric tons) took place on September 15. The wastes were shipped back to Pyeongtaek City from the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT Port) in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental onboard container ship BH MAHIA.

The much-awaited repatriation of the remaining wastes raised to 364 the total number of garbage-filled containers returned to South Korea in seven batches starting in January 2019 amounting to a whopping 7,408.46 metric tons.

“We congratulate the Filipino people and government, particularly BOC-10, for successfully insisting on the responsibility of the exporter or the State of export, in accordance with the Basel Convention, to take back hazardous wastes or other wastes deemed to be illegal traffic. The completion of the re-exportation procedures shows that action against waste trafficking knows no pandemic,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“As we say goodbye and good riddance to these smuggled wastes, we say ‘bravo’ to the resolute fight waged by our customs and other government officials, together with the civil society, to overcome all the hurdles so as to secure our people’s dignity and well-being,” she said.

The EcoWaste Coalition also thanked the government of President Moon Jae-in for honoring its promise to have the illegally exported wastes repatriated as it urged South Korea to take decisive action to prevent the transfer of its waste to the Philippines, including ratifying the Basel Convention Ban Amendment, which forbids the export of hazardous wastes from developed to developing countries.

Davao City-based Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) likewise welcomed the departure of the stranded South Korean waste in Mindanao stressing that such success has underlined the important role of local government units (LGUs) in preventing the dumping of waste from overseas.

“The persistence of the Tagoloan municipal government and the Misamis Oriental provincial government contributed a great deal to the concerted action by the public and private sectors to send back the illegal waste imports and to disallow their disposal locally. It underscores the important role of LGUs in thwarting waste dumping schemes,” said Chinkie Peliño-Golle, Executive Director, IDIS.

For his part, Dr. Joe DiGangi, Senior Science and Technical Adviser of the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) noted that “the return of illegally exported South Korean waste demonstrates that regulatory enforcement can and must continue during the pandemic. Now the challenge for both the Philippines and South Korea is to ratify the Basel Convention Ban Amendment so that this sad history is not repeated.” The EcoWaste Coalition and IDIS are participating organizations of IPEN, a global movement for a toxic-free future.

“Countries should protect themselves from the possibility of adding to their COVID-19 healthcare and plastic waste crisis by doing two things. In the short term, countries should move quickly to ratify the Basel Convention Ban Amendment. In the mid-term, countries should enact a ban on the importation of all wastes,” DiGangi pointed out.

Environmental health and justice groups have strongly argued that ratifying the Basel Convention Ban Amendment and imposing a national ban on all waste imports, including electronic, plastic and other hazardous and toxic wastes, are essential to prevent the recurrence of waste dumping and trafficking incidents.

To recall, Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation imported the illegal waste shipments falsely declared as “plastic synthetic flakes” from South Korea, which arrived at the ports in Villanueva and Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental in July and October 2018.

Among the waste materials found in the containerized and bulk shipments were unsorted plastic materials, used dextrose tubes, soiled diapers, discarded electronics, and household garbage in violation of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal and national laws.

Assessed by the authorities as “misdeclared, heterogeneous and injurious to public health,” BOC-10 in 2018 then issued warrants of seizure and detention against the said illegal waste imports from South Korea.

BOC-10 further issued a re-exportation order citing violations of DENR Administrative Order 2013-22, which states that “no importation of heterogenous and unsorted plastic materials shall be allowed,” and Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

In August 2019, the EcoWaste Coalition wrote to President Moon Jae-in requesting his government “to immediately act on this pressing issue and not allow the controversy to drag on like what happened to the infamous garbage from Canada that finally left the Philippines after six long years.”

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc

[Press Release] EcoWaste Coalition Pushes For E-Waste Importation Ban

EcoWaste Coalition Pushes For E-Waste Importation Ban

A waste and pollution watchdog group have urged the government to ban the importation of electronic waste as the production of such waste across the world soared to 53.6 million tonnes in 2019 due to higher consumption rates of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), among other reasons, according to a newly-released UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020.

The global generation of e-waste, which is classified as hazardous waste under the Basel Convention due to the presence of brominated flame retardants, lead, mercury, and other toxic substances, is projected to reach 74.7 million tones by 2030.

“The global surge in the production of e-waste is deeply concerning for developing countries like the Philippines that still allow the importation of electronic junks. End-of-life computers, TVs, mobile phones, and other unwanted EEE from overseas might end up flooding our ports if no preventive action is taken,” said Roxanne Figueroa, E-Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“As the demand for computers and other e-gadgets grows with their increased use in online activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to be extra vigilant against the potential rise in shipments of pre-owned electronics nearing or at the end of their useful lives, which can only add to our toxic waste woes,” she said.

As stated in the latest Global E-Waste Monitor, “a considerable amount of e-waste is still exported illegally or under the guise of being for reuse or pretending to be scrap metal.”

“In middle- and low-income countries, the e-waste management infrastructure is not yet fully developed or, in some cases, is entirely absent. Hence, e-waste is managed mostly by the informal sector. In this case, e-waste is often handled under inferior conditions, causing severe health effects to workers as well as to the children who often live, work and play near e-waste management activities,” the report said.

“Informal and improper e-waste recycling is a major emerging hazard silently affecting our health and that of future generations. One in four children is dying from avoidable environmental exposures. One in four children could be saved if we take action to protect their health and ensure a safe environment,” noted Maria Neira, Director, Environment, Climate Change and Health Department of the World Health Organization (WHO).

For his part, Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition, said: “To put a stop to the entry of e-waste and other wastes into our country and to protect public health and the environment, we need to plug loopholes in regulation and ratify the Basel Ban Amendment, an international law prohibiting all hazardous waste exports from developed to developing countries.”

Such a bold action will encourage developed countries not to transfer their unwanted e-waste here, as well as drive the electronic industry to shift to clean production and take full responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products throughout the product life-cycle, including their reuse, buyback or recycling, he pointed out.

Last year, the group wrote to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu proposing a comprehensive ban on the importation of wastes, including plastic and electronic wastes, which is still permitted by the agency under DENR A.O. 2013-22.

DENR A.O. 2013-22 allows the importation of “recyclable materials” such as scrap metals, scrap plastics, electronic assemblies, and scrap, used oil and fly ash subject to certain limiting conditions and compliance to the requirements set by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

EMB, which is currently reviewing and revising the said administrative order to update the requirements and address emerging issues, has drafted the “Guidelines on the Environmentally Sound Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment,” which is yet to be issued.

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc