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Documents

A Crisis of Waste: A Photo Book on the Situation and Crisis of Waste in Thailand

By EARTH, Photo by Karnt Thassanaphak, December 2021

The world is facing a crisis of waste, and Thailand is no exception. Today, this country faces a growing quantity of wastes from various sources, including households/communities and industrial factories. In addition, plastic scraps, electronic scraps and wastes of other sorts are flowing from across the border into recycling factories. These waste importations occur through various avenues from illegal smugglings to exploitation of loopholes in the law. 

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Plastic Waste Management Hazards

2021 | Prof. Hideshige Takada, Dept. of Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences, and
Lee Bell, IPEN Mercury and POPs Policy Advisor

Plastic waste has become an unprecedented pollution issue around the globe. From visible plastic litter on land and in oceans to invisible micro-plastics in lakes, mountains, and rain, the planet is increasingly blanketed in the petrochemical remnants of plastic production. With petrochemical companies avoiding fossil fuel carbon liabilities by massively increasing plastic production, the amount of plastic waste generated is set to climb dramatically.

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Waste Trade in Southeast Asia: Legal Justifications for Regional Action

EcoWaste Coalition - JULY 2021  

The COVID-19 pandemic has already had negative effects on waste management, significantly contributing to increases in medical waste and household waste, and a substantial slowdown in recycling efforts. This upsurge in hazardous waste particularly endangers developing countries that are destinations for waste exports via the global waste trade.

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Toxic Chemicals in Plastic Waste Poisoning People in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe & Latin America.

IPEN & Arnika, June 2021

Plastics and food packaging contain chemical contaminants from manufacturing along with many additives to make them inflammable, more flexible, grease-resistant, or sterile, as well as other substances to create many other properties. Many of these additives are toxic and they leak from products during use and can be released during recycling and from recycled products.

This study focuses on persistent organic pollutants (POPs), whose releases are closely related to plastic wastes. The POPs include additives in the plastic as such, as well as unintentionally produced POPs (UPOPs) generated mostly by burning, incineration and/or other thermal treatment of plastics. 

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Aquatic Pollutants in Oceans and Fisheries

IPEN & NTN | April 2021

Chemicals are polluting oceans and waterways, not only endangering wildlife and those who rely on seafood for sustenance, but threatening the collapse of many fisheries. In combination with global warming, this is a catastrophe in the making. This report is the first to begin to detail the numerous ways and places in which chemical pollution and climate change is destabilizing this marine infrastructure and the world's fisheries. We still have time to stop the destruction, but as this report indicates, we will need to go beyond thinking only about how to control overfishing or manage pollutants in the fish we consume. Our survival, along with that of all other species, will depend on ensuring the health of the entire ocean, an objective we all must work on together to achieve.

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Plastic's Toxic Additives and the Circular Economy

IPEN | September 2020

Toxic chemicals of concern that are widespread in common plastic products can hinder the momentum for a circular economy. A new report, coordinated by the Barcelona-based(1) Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC), serving both the Stockholm Convention and the Barcelona Convention, has been produced in collaboration with the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) in order to shine a light on extensive evidence of toxic chemical components in plastics that can harm human and environmental health and impede a safe circular economy.

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Dealing with Industrial Contamination: Problems and solutions from Thailand and a call to action

March 2020

The condition of Thailand's natural and social environment entered a crisis in 1990s, which resulted in major amendments to national laws concerning environment and pollution control in 1992.
 

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Call for a global ban policy on and scientific management of asbestos to eliminate asbestos-related diseases

Journal of Public Health Policy, March 2020 | Achyut Aryal and Craig Morley

Asbestos is a primary cause of cancer worldwide. Global estimates indicate workplace exposure of 125 million people and about 255,000 deaths each year. Of the approximately 300 million metric tonnes of asbestos ever produced worldwide, most will become waste and disposed of in landfills. The recycling and transforming asbestos fibre into a non-harmful product offer a sustainable solution, but a global commitment remains elusive. Urgent action is needed. 

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Lead in Playground Equipment in Thailand

IPEN & EARTH, October 2019

On 30 September 2019, EARTH visited Benjakitti Park and Lumphini Park located in Bangkok City, Thailand, and screened the playground equipment for lead content. In each playground, painted play equipment and the condition of painted surface were documented.  This study shows that 20 out of 24 analyzed pieces of playground equipment contained total lead concentrations above 90 parts per million (ppm), dry weight. In addition, 14 analyzed pieces of playground equipment contained dangerously high lead levels above 10,000 ppm.; 15 out of 16 bright-colored painted surfaces contained lead concentra­tions above 90 ppm, dry weight; and the highest lead concentration detected was 72,300 ppm in a red monkey bar at a public playground in Benjakitti Park, Bangkok.

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Trading Away Health and the Environment: The Toxic Business of Waste Imports into Thailand

Co-Authors: Tanya Lee Roberts-Davis & Penchom Saetang

Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH) | June 2019

Trading Away Health and the Environment provides an overview of the devastating impacts on the health and well-being of communities in Thailand where industrial waste processing facilities are being developed as part of an ongoing expansion of the transnational business of plastic and used electronics waste and scraps.

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Toxic Hot Spots in Thailand

Authors: Jindřich Petrlík, Alice Dvorská, Václav Mach, Marek Šír, Jitka Straková, Akarapon Teebthaisong, Jana Tremlová, Peter A. Behnisch, Martin Bystrianský, Autthaporn Ritthichat, Penchom Saetang

By Arnika Association and Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH) | December 2018

The data presented in the studies were obtained during sampling campaigns in Thailand in February 2015, February and March 2016, and February 2017. The sampling campaigns represent an important part of the project “Increasing Transparency in Industrial Pollution Management through Citizen Science.”

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"We Fight to Protect Our Home:” Reprisals Against Environmental Defenders in Loei Province, Thailand

A report by Fortify Rights, October 2018

This report reveals that Thai authorities and Tungkum Ltd. committed and contributed to serious human rights violations and abuses against members of KRBKG and environmental defenders in Wang Sa Phung District, Loei Province. Violations and abuses include the arbitrary detention of human rights defenders and violations of the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, a healthy environment.

Local residents in affected communities surrounding the gold  mine largely rely on farming and the natural environment for their livelihoods and sustenance. Water and soil pollution has adversely impacted their daily lives and livelihoods. Residents have also complained about health conditions...

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News

Don’t ignore factory risk

Bangkok Post 24 September 2022 | Punyathorn Jeungsmarn (EARTH Thailand)

During the morning of Sept 22, many residents in Nakhon Pathom province awoke to a foul smell they were unfamiliar with, irritating both their eyes and noses. In neighbouring Nonthaburi, some people were reported to be coughing and sneezing after noticing a "burning-like" smell. 

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Joint Statement on the Leakage of Hazardous Chemicals from the Indorama’s Plastic Factory in Thailand

By EnLAW, EARTH, and Greenpeace Thailand | 22 September 2022

In the early morning of September 22nd, 2022, there was a leakage of hazardous chemical from the Indorama Polyester Industries PCL. Located in Nakhon Chai Si District, Nakhon Pathom Province, Thailand. Citizens living near the factory were affected by foul smell and reported the problems to the regional environmental authorities. Regarding to the incident, Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH), ENLAWTHAI Foundation, and Greenpeace Thailand, which work together in calling for environmental justice in Thailand, including pushing for a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) law to ensure citizen’s access to pollution information, sees the incident as the latest evidence of how Thai citizens must live with the risk of toxic chemicals and poisons on a daily basis.

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EARTH Visits “Dioxin Lab” at Prague

EARTH REPORT 16 September 2022

Arnika Association brought Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH) team to visit the Dioxin laboratory of the State Veterinary Institute Prague (@Státní veterinární ústav Praha) in Prague, Czech Republic. 

Ing. Jan Rosmus, Head of the Department of Chemistry and Deputy Directory of the institute brought the team around the Dioxin lab, all the while describing the equipment and processes conducted in the institute. These included Gas chromatography – mass spectrometer or GC-MS, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry or ICP-MS and various other equipment. This allowed EARTH team to better comprehend the process of testing for “Persistent Organic Pollutants” or #POPs, a class of pollutants still found in the environment in #Thailand today.

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International cooperation is the answer to global pollution, scientists confirmed at the Prague conference

PRESS RELEASE: 15 September 2022 

PRAGUE/JAKARTA/BANGKOK – The international BioDetectors conference took place in Prague on 13-14 September and was attended by experts worldwide. They can use analytical methods to measure the effect of dangerous substances’ “toxic cocktail” on human cells. Organizations from the Global South can also point out specific risks and advocate for more stringent protection of local populations from toxic pollution, thanks to cooperation with European laboratories.

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EARTH at BioDetector Conference in Prague – “Citizen Science Creates Empowered Community”

EARTH REPORT 14 September 2022 

EARTH - Thailand presents citizen science project in Thailand at BioDetectors Conference in Prague, Czech Republic

Akarapon Teebthaisong, Research and Technical Officer from Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH), presented a study entitled “Citizen Science Projects in Thailand”, at the 13th BioDetectors Conference 2022, which was held between 13th – 14th September, 2022, in Prague, Czech Republic.

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Thailand still needs “Pollution Control Zone”

EARTH REPORT 23 August 2022

University’s research agency says Thailand is not yet ready to lift any of its Pollution Control Zone, following academic evaluation.

Chula Unisearch, a research agency within Chulalongkorn University, held a technical hearing on the readiness to lift Thailand’s many Pollution Control Zone (#PCZ) - eventually concluding that none of the zones are ready for lifting. #Rayong zone remains one of the least ready, due to pollution exceeding standard levels. A key pollutant identified there has been Volatile Organic Compounds or #VOCs.

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Citizen Science in action at Nong Phawa, Thailand

EARTH REPORT 21 August 2022

Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH) joins citizen scientists, Somsong Wattana and Tiab Smanmit in investigating the environmental impacts of industrial recycling in Eastern Thailand.

Somsong, a native of Phanom Sarakham, Chachoengsao – an eastern province long targeted for industrial expansion – has had a long journey from victims of industrial pollution to active propagators of Citizen Science. On the day of the investigation, he brought a multiprobe water quality tester, which he bought after learning of heavy metal contaminations in Chachoengsao’s water basins. 

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Australia is still dumping waste in Asia

MEDIA RELEASE 9 August 2022 

Thailand’s Minister for the Environment has ordered the repatriation of 130 tonnes Australian waste, imported into the country as paper and cardboard but found to be highly contaminated with plastic wastes. The Minister has also ordered an investigation and potential legal proceedings. 

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Pollutant register vital, govt told

Bangkok Post 07 July 2022

Thailand needs a pollutant release and transfer register (PRTR) law so the public can be well informed about the risk of industrial pollution and the risk of disaster posed by factories, a seminar was told.

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Chemical bill needs push

Bangkok Post 06 July 2022 

On Monday, an environmental conservation network submitted a letter to the House of Representatives to resubmit a "Pollutant Release and Transfer Register" (PRTR) bill after it was rejected last year by the cabinet.

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Thai Health, Human Rights Commission, commemorate Ming Dih disaster – a painful lesson towards environmental rights

EARTH REPORT  05 July 2022

Thai Health Promotion Foundation and the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand held a commemorative seminar on the one-year anniversary of the Ming Dih factory fire in Samut Prakan. 

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One year Ming Dih factory fire - time to for Thailand to have PRTR law

EARTH REPORT 05 July 2022

The image of deadly scarlet flame and dark plumes of smoke billowing in the sky, brings to mind the haunting smell of chemicals and plastic that continuously burned for two days in July 2021.

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Groups kick off pollutant database bid

Bangkok Post 05 July 2022

10,000 signatures sought to back law

A civil society network yesterday kicked off a campaign calling for the enactment of a law to create a database management system to help monitor the release and transfer of chemicals or pollutants in the kingdom.

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PRTR Law and Citizen Participation Needed to Solve Thailand’s Industrial Pollution

PRESS RELEASE 02 July 2022 

Bangkok/ Prague – EARTH Thailand [1], together with Arnika Association (Czech Republic) [2], call on the Thai parliament and government to accept the upcoming citizen’s draft of the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) act. 

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Illegal dumping of industrial waste still not removed after 7 months

EARTH Report 30 June 2022

EARTH followed up on illegal damping at Tha Kradan, Chachoengsao – industrial waste still not removed after 7 months, liquid waste already infiltrated soi.

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