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Documents

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

Local cry out as industrial fumes and foul affected their health

EARTH REPORT 30 October 2021

RAYONG, THAILAND – Citizens captured videos showing plumes of smoke coming out of IRPC petrochemical company’s gas flare stacks. They reported foul smell and loud, disturbing noises accompanying the smoke. 

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Local people affected by industrial pollution join legal workshop on health and environment

EARTH REPORT 30 October 2021

Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH) and the Pro bono Lawyers Network of Thailand (PLNT) held the second workshop under the topic “Use and Engagement of Legal Knowledge for the Protection of Health and Environment”. Various citizen groups from Rayong and Ratchaburi attended the workshop. All of them victims of industrial pollution seeking environmental justice.

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Minamata film reveals the long struggles of residents affected by industrial mercury spill to Thai public

EARTH REPORT 29 October 2021

Environmental NGO Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH) and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (Thai Health) organized a screening of the film “MINAMATA”.

The film tells the true story of Minamata, a town devasted by severe methylmercury poisoning between the 1930s-1970s. The pollution was a result of the release of wastewater from a chemical factory owned by Chisso Corporation. It led to a widespread occurrence of neurological symptoms that are now popularly known as “Minamata Disease”.

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WORKSHOP: “Use and Engagement of Legal Knowledge for the Protection of Health and Environment”

The Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH) and the Pro bono Lawyers Network of Thailand (PLNT) will hold the second of a series of workshops under the topic “Use and Engagement of Legal Knowledge for the Protection of Health and Environment”

Date: Saturday 30 October 2021

Time: 09:30 am -12:30 pm

Location: The Princess Beach Hotel, Kram subdistrict, Klaeng district, Rayong Province

Speakers

• Mr. Chamnan Sirirak, environmental lawyer and legal experts

• Mr. Narit Sornsriwiwat, environmental lawyers

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Local found water in a public waterway highly acidic

EARTH REPORT 19 October 2021

CHACHOENGSAO, THAILAND – The Phanom Conservatory Citizen Network informed the Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (EARTH) that after heavy rain on the 18 October, water level in the Nam Choan Basin 16 or “Grandma Jaew” Basin had overflowed the spillway. The citizen network conducted preliminary environmental monitoring and found pH level of water in spillway at 3.48, and the pH level of water 1 km away from spillway is 3.60.

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Villager's VDO Shows Factory Operating Without Permit

EARTH REPORT 16 October 2021

Citizen of Klangdong subdistrict, Thailand, caught a factory conducting activities, while without permit. A video clip sent by a citizen of Klangdong subdistrict, Pak Chong district, Nakhon Ratchsima Province, Thailand, captured moments when a factory owned by Aek Uthai company conducted activities without permits. The clip showed mysterious smoke coming out of the factory compound. Municipal authority is investigating the matter.

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Officials Urged to Reject Factory Pertmit

EARTH REPORT 14 October 2021

CHACHOENGSAO, THAILAND – Locals of Tha Than subdistrict crashed a municipal authority’s meeting and convinced government officials to deny permit to a recycling factory. Following a polluting recycling company’s request for new permit, locals of Tha Than under the name “Tha Than-Ban Song Group” demanded to attend a meeting where the matter was being discussed. The factory, established in 2018 by a company called Banana Disposal, has been causing water pollution and foul smell in the Tha Than subdistrict. Locals have demanded government agencies to take actions for years, but to no avail. 

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Time to ratify Basel ban on toxic waste

Bangkok Post 11 October 2021 | PENCHOM SAETANG & PUNYATHORN JEUNGSMARN

Thailand has been allowed to become a new global dumping ground and without public policy to counter it, the situation will only get worse. Ratifying the amendment will be a first big step to a more systematic approach to waste management and recycling in the country. Ratification of the amendment could lay the groundwork for the government to realise its oft-repeated dream of an effective circular economy that underpins a sustainable future.

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What a waste

Bangkok Post 11 October 2021 | APIRADEE TREERUTKUARKUL

Southeast Asian countries have become new landfill sites for the management -- and mismanagement -- of waste from North America, Europe, Japan and South Korea ever since China imposed a total ban three years ago on trash imports from rich developed nations. As foreign investment in waste management expands in the region, local communities have voiced their mounting concerns over toxic contamination and its impact on their health and the environment.

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Workshop: “Use and Engagement of Legal Knowledge for the Protection of Health and Environment”

EARTH REPORT 09 October 2021

Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH) and the Pro Bono Lawyer Network of Thailand (PLNT) held the first of four workshops to be conducted in 2021 under the topic “Use and Engagement of Legal Knowledge for the Protection of Health and Environment”. 

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The Waste Trade: How Southeast Asia Become a Global Dumpyard

ONLINE PANEL DISCUSSION 26 September 2021

In 2018, Southeast Asia became the world’s top destinations for waste exports after China’s waste import bans, leading to a sharp rise in illegal recycling facilities as well as illegal dumpsites, causing land, water and air pollution that has affected several communities across the region. Allegations of malfeasance, misconduct, and corruption abound.

Panelists:

• Daru Setyorini, Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation (ECOTON), Indonesia

• Pua Lay Peng, Kuala Langal Environmental Action Organization (PTASKL), Malaysia

• Akarapon Teebthaisong, Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH)

Moderated by Wong Pui Yi, The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center), Malaysia

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EARTH begins initial probe at illegal dumping site in Lopburi

EARTH REPORT  21 September 2021 

EARTH’s initial fieldwork at industrial waste covert dumping site in Lopburi found widespread chemical leakage with VOC level reaching the highest limit of portable air detector. More samples are being collected for further analysis.

Following last week’s reports of covert dumping of industrial wastes in Phatthana Nikhom District, Lopburi province, technical officers from Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH) investigated the two dumping sites and collected environmental samples for analysis.

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Government must ban imports of plastic scrap

Bangkok Post 27 August 2021 | Punyathorn Jeungsmarn and Penchom Saetang*  

Last Monday, members of the Anti-Plastic Scrap Citizen's Network submitted a petition to the environmental minister. The petition demanded the government impose a ban on the import of plastic scrap by the end of this year.

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Anti-hazardous Waste Network Calls for an Immediate End of Plastic Waste Import

Bangkok Tribune 25 August 2021

The import of “plastic waste” would hamper the state’s efforts to tackle plastic waste in the country while jeopardizing the local recycling business, the group reasons.

The network, led by EARTH and the Saleng and Junk Shop Association, has submitted a letter to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment calling for an end of the plastic waste import by this year. Over 108 CSOs and 32,000 supporters have signed through an online campaign in support of their move.

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End the Import of Plastic Waste by 2021, Thai CSOs Urge

EARTH REPORT 23 August 2021 

The network of 108 CSOs and environmental groups led by EARTH and the Saleng and Junk Shop Association submitted a letter to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment calling for an end to plastic waste imports by 2021.

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