Dumaguete, Philippines – Silliman University (SU), a private university in the central part of the Philippines, is implementing a new policy that eliminates single-use plastic bags and aims towards Zero Waste, the first university in the country to do so. SU’s new environmental policy was approved unanimously by its Board of Trustees (BOT) on November 17.
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Producer responsibility requirements must be stronger, campaigners warn
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Brussels, 26/11/2018
“The fight against plastic pollution is one that we can win. The EU plastics laws initiated by the Commission and endorsed by the Parliament are a first step towards a future where plastic doesn’t poison us. If we commit to this together, nobody loses, everybody wins“, said European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans at a press conference today. “The industry is clearly now focusing its energy on the EU Council. It’s up to the Austrian presidency to resist, and maintain the level of ambition initiated by the Commission, and reinforced by Parliament. This is the perfect slot in our history to impulse the virtuous change demanded by citizens. Disappointing them would be tragic”, added Frédérique Ries, who represents the European Parliament in the negotiations on the single-use plastics law.
Mr Timmermans and Ms Ries were speaking beside a three-metre tall dragon spewing single-use plastic litter collected in beach clean-ups, which will stay in front of the Council till Wednesday.
“The Commission and Parliament plan would deal a significant first blow to the monster of plastic pollution, but this plan is at risk. Consumption of throwaway plastic needs to be cut drastically, and the companies making money on the back of this pollution must also be held responsible. If governments don’t ensure the polluter pays, they side with the dragon” said Delphine Lévi Alvarès, European Coordinator of Break Free From Plastic .
Campaigners warned that national governments risk weakening ambitious extended producer responsibility (EPR), whereby producers would cover costs for clean-up of litter, for management of plastic waste , as well as for awareness raising. Notably, countries may attempt to delay EPR implementation by four years, and exempt waste management costs for some items including the most littered plastic item in Europe: tobacco filters.
“We are at a turning point. Member States must break with short-termism, by holding producers accountable and supporting ambitious prevention and collection measures for fishing gear as well as single-use plastics. EU institutions have the unique chance to spearhead global action on swift and effective solutions to curb plastic pollution.” said Frédérique Mongodin, Seas At Risk senior marine litter policy officer, on behalf of Rethink Plastic. 
On November 28, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council are meeting for a second round of negotiations on single-use plastics laws. The third and last negotiation round is to take place on December 18.
 Break Free From Plastic published in October the results of its global brand audits which identify top plastic polluters: https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/globalbrandauditreport2018/
 Including putting relevant waste collection infrastructure in place and collecting, transporting and treating this waste.
 The European Parliament voted last month in favour of modulated financial contributions to promote eco-design as well as specific 50% collection and 15% recycling targets for fishing gear.
Roberta Arbinolo, Communications Coordinator, Rethink Plastic
firstname.lastname@example.org / +32 491 14 31 97
Matt Franklin, Communications Officer, Break Free From Plastic
email@example.com / +44 79 23 37 38 31
Frédérique Mongodin, Senior Marine Litter Policy Officer at Seas at Risk
firstname.lastname@example.org / +32 2 893 09 67
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Hamburg, Germany, 22 November 2018 – To disrupt Black Friday and Cyber Monday as major international moments for consumerism, Greenpeace and partners launch MAKE SMTHNG Week (November 23 – December 2). With more than 300 events in 41 countries, MAKE SMTHNG Week asks people to #BuyNothing and #MakeSmthng instead.
“We are already drowning in stuff – stuffed wardrobes, garages, and kitchens – yet we keep on shopping for more fashion, gadgets, food, single-use plastic, toys, and cars. With our throwaway lifestyles we are fuelling climate change, pollution and the destruction of people’s homes and irreplaceable natural wonders. MAKE SMTHNG Week offers a fun and creative way out of this wasteful consumerism,” said Robin Perkins, Make SMTHNG campaigner at Greenpeace.
“By sharing, caring, and repairing things we can make more of what we already own and give our beautiful planet a break,” he added.
Greenpeace, its global partners — Fashion Revolution, #BreakFreeFromPlastic, Shareable, Arts Thread, the Fab Labs Network and the Fab City Global Initiative, will bring together hundreds of designers, artists and makers to lead workshops where people can learn creative techniques of reuse, repairing, fashion upcycling and DIY.
Events include making sustainable Christmas presents, living a plastic-free life, community repair cafes, books and clothes swaps, and zero waste cooking — in 32 countries from Qatar to Peru, Canada, India, Germany, Italy, UK, South Africa and Spain.
“Shopping does not make us happy. But being with friends and people, learning new skills, and valuing what we already have, does. So this Black Friday, buy nothing and make something!” said Perkins.
On August first this year, humanity used up more natural resources than the planet is able to reproduce in a year. The over-consumption of convenience products like fast-fashion, single use paper and plastics, gadgets or toys designed not to last, and industrially-produced food, is pushing our planet to its limits.
“Large corporations continue to put profits first, while they reduce the quality, repairability and versatility of their products. Through omnipresent advertising we are told, again and again, to buy more and more stuff we don’t need. Companies won’t change unless we show them people want something different. Together we have to build something that will make this outdated, wasteful model obsolete,” added Perkins. ENDS
Photos and videos can be accessed here.
About MAKE SMTHNG week: Website; Resources to get involved; Press Kit; Instagram
#DisruptBlackFriday #BuyNothing #MakeSmthng
Lu Yen Roloff, Comms & Digital Engagement Lead, Germany: email@example.com, +49 151 10028267
Greenpeace International Press Desk: firstname.lastname@example.org, +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)
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Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 9 November 2018 — Green groups today challenged the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to live up to its stated mandate and stop financing any form of waste incineration. Incineration, including so-called “waste-to-energy” (WTE) incineration, is a dangerous, costly, and unsustainable method of treating waste. The groups contend that ADB is flouting local and international laws by promoting incineration, and that the bank should facilitate—instead of obstruct—Asia-Pacific’s transition toward a sustainable circular economy.
The call came during the launch of the report ADB and Waste Incineration: Bankrolling Pollution; Blocking Solutions  published by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). The report is a critical review of how ADB promotes investments in WTE incineration despite documented negative impacts of these facilities on public health, environment, economy, and the climate. Joining the launch to call for the bank to pull out of waste incineration funding were No Burn Pilipinas, EcoWaste Coalition, Break Free From Plastic, Greenpeace, Healthcare Without Harm, Mother Earth Foundation, and the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).
“Incinerator financing is a classic example of ADB’s schizophrenic funding policy,” said Lea Guerrero, GAIA climate and clean energy campaigner. “The bank is using public money to promote dirty and destructive projects that serve to prevent countries in the region from pursuing solutions that conserve resources, protect health and which do not harm the climate. This report challenges ADB to innovate, not incinerate: the world is already moving away from incineration and transitioning to a sustainable circular economy. ADB should follow suit and fund just, equitable Zero Waste systems that will enable this transition.”
The report shows that WTE incinerator facilities advanced by ADB present significant investment risks, fail to comply with key provisions of the bank’s safeguard standards as well as core pillars of the bank’s poverty reduction strategy, and present a lack of accountability to the very people within member countries it is mandated to serve. In Asia, the bank is the leading agency that is bringing the failed incineration model from the Global North. It also proactively partners with waste incineration companies to build WTE incinerators in the region. These facilities lock countries into enormous (and onerous) debts for environmentally and publicly harmful projects with exploitative “put-or-pay” contracts that obstruct the adoption of best practices for dealing with resources and waste.
Among incineration projects funded by ADB are incinerator facilities in China and Vietnam. The bank also recommends waste incineration to other countries through its technical assistance (TA) projects, such as in the Philippines.
“In the Philippines, ADB’s pro-incinerator policies contravene the country’s Clean Air, Ecological Solid Waste Management, and Renewable Energy laws,” said Glenn Ymata, No Burn Pilipinas campaign manager. “Aside from clearly going against its safeguard standards, ADB is potentially locking cities and municipalities, already stretched for funds, into decades of wastage and indebtedness. It is business as usual for ADB and it has been the same for over 50 years.”
Last October, the bank announced that its lending portfolio has no place for “dirty energy”. Green groups assert that WTE incineration is dirty energy and should not be financed by the bank. “ADB’s funding of incinerators is based on the industry lie that WTE incineration is renewable energy,” said of PMCJ. “WTE incineration is polluting, carbon intensive, and takes investments away from real RE solutions. It should not be part of the ADB’s portfolio.”###
Read the Executive Summary HERE.
- Sherma Benosa | Communications Officer, GAIA Asia Pacific | +63 9178157570 email@example.com
NOTE TO EDITORS
 The report highlights that incinerators 1) have adverse impacts on the health and wellbeing of people and the environment ; 2) contribute to climate change; 3) damage local and national economies; and 4) obstruct resource sustainability. WTE incineration is the most expensive way to manage waste and generate electricity and perpetuate the unsustainable “take, make, waste” linear economic model that abets climate change and pollution. At present, incinerator and WTE incinerator facilities are seeing a phaseout in Europe in recognition that incineration is not compatible with a sustainable, low-carbon, and resource-efficient circular economy.
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10 November 2018, Quezon City. A national environmental health and justice organization denounced the entry of misdeclared plastic trash from South Korea, a highly developed economy, to a country like the Philippines, which is struggling to address its own garbage woes.
Fearing a repeat of the still unresolved Canadian garbage dumping scandal, the Quezon City-based EcoWaste Coalition called on the authorities to reject the illegal garbage imports from South Korea and to return them at once to their origin.
Bandila, the late night news broadcast of ABS CBN, reported about the garbage importation controversy on November 10. The report can be viewed here:
“We find this latest incident of plastic waste dumping outrageous and unacceptable. Why do we keep on accepting garbage from other countries when we know that our country’s plastic waste, which is literally everywhere, is spilling to the oceans and endangering marine life?,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“We also find it ironic that while South Korea is taking action to control its plastic waste, including banning plastic bags in supermarkets starting October this year, and yet its unwanted plastics are being sent abroad,” she said.
“It’s high time for the Philippines to disallow garbage imports and to demand that developed countries, as well as manufacturers of plastics and other disposable goods, take full responsibility for their products throughout their whole life cycle,” she emphasized.
“The illegal garbage shipments from Canada misrepresented as recyclable plastic scraps, which are still in our country, are a stinking reminder of how disadvantageous and unjust global waste trade is,” she reminded.
According to the “request of alert order” issued on October 25,2018 by Joel Pinawin, Supervisor, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, Bureau of Customs (BOC) – Cagayan De Oro City, the baled garbage misdeclared as “plastic synthetic flakes” arrived from South Korea on board MV Affluent Ocean on July 21, 2018.
As per the said document, the shipment was consigned to Verde Soko Phil. Industrial Corp. and the “violation committed” was in relation to Section 1400 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act on “Misdeclaration, Misclassification, Undervaluation in Goods Declaration,” one of the crimes punishable under the said law.
As stated by John Simon,Port Collector, Mindanao International Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental: “Kapag plastic flakes, dapat puro plastic flakes ang makikita mo diyan. Pero hinde, nakita naming may kahoy at iba’t ibang materials.”
The incident prompted the EcoWaste Coalition to renew the clarion call it made in 2017 for the government to ban plastic waste imports and for domestic industries requiring plastic scrap inputs to source their supplies locally.
“Barring the importation of plastic garbage should form part of the government’s efforts to improve existing regulations to avoid a repeat of the Canadian garbage saga,” the group said.
“Imposing an import ban on scrap plastics may even prompt local industries to seek ways to retrieve locally-generated plastic discards,” which can help in reducing the amount of plastics leaking to water bodies,” the group added.
The EcoWaste Coalition made the call after China announced that it will prohibit the importation of scrap plastics and other wastes by January 2018 “to protect China’s environmental interests and people’s health.”
The government of Malaysia announced last month that it will phase out in three years the importation of all types of plastic waste following the Chinese ban on waste imports. -end-
https://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/11/10/18/basura-mula-south-korea-dumating-sa-pilipinas (go to 0:09-0:15 to see the “Request of Alert Order”)
Unit 336, Eagle Court, 26 Matalino St., 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
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Written by Greenpeace International. Article originally appeared in Greenpeace.
Jakarta, Indonesia – Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) corporations are a predominant force behind the throwaway economic model driving the plastic pollution crisis, according to a comprehensive sector survey Greenpeace International released today. None of the companies surveyed have plans to put the brakes on the growing production and marketing of single-use plastics, while the solutions they are exploring will only perpetuate the problem.
“We hoped to identify industry leaders through this process, but instead found that the whole sector has failed to take responsibility for the plastic pollution crisis and is instead trying to maintain the status quo,” said Ahmad Ashov, Global Plastics Project Leader, Greenpeace Indonesia. “There is a lack of transparency and all current public commitments by these companies allow for an increased use of single-use plastic in the future. That needs to change.”
“Their current business model is based on the assumption that ultimately all plastic packaging can, and will, be collected and recycled into new packaging or products.”
The four companies that reported the highest sales of single-use plastic products (Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Danone) were also the top four brands identified in a recent global Break Free From Plastic brand audit report following 239 plastic pollution cleanups in 42 countries.
Greenpeace’s report, “A Crisis of Convenience: The corporations behind the plastics pollution pandemic”, focuses on 11 of the biggest FMCG companies: Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Johnson and Johnson, Kraft Heinz, Mars, Nestlé, Mondelez, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Unilever.
- Single-use packaging is the main delivery system used by all of the FMCG companies, with no signs of changing.
- None of the surveyed FMCG companies have comprehensive strategies that include commitments to move away from single-use plastic.
- Most FMCG companies are actually increasing the amount of single-use plastic packaging and waste they produce.
- Most FMCG companies know or disclose little about the amount of their packaging that is recycled and even less about the destination of their plastic waste after consumption.
- Despite their significant plastic footprint, solutions being explored by businesses are primarily related to addressing recyclability or recycling, not reducing or creating new delivery systems.
- There is a lack of transparency in the sector and few FMCG companies are willing to disclose important data about their plastic use.
The survey looked to determine the degree to which FMCG commitments, actions and performance are addressing the environmental and social impacts of their plastic packaging and waste.
“The sector urgently needs to change its business model and prepare for a world where disposable products and packaging are no longer acceptable,” said Ashov.
The FMCG sector represents one of the largest industries worldwide. Most FMCG companies are growing at rates between 1 – 6% each year. If current trends continue, their use of single-use plastic will increase in parallel.
Photo and video here
 Greenpeace International research for this report assessing the public statements made in 2017/2018 corporate annual reports of Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Kraft-Heinz, Mondelez, Colgate Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, and Danone.
See full report “A Crisis of Convenience: The corporations behind the plastics pollution pandemic” can be accessed here.
Break Free From Plastic is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Their brand audit report is here.
Greenpeace International Press Desk, email@example.com, phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)
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