EcoWaste Coalition Slams Boatload of Garbage from South Korea, Calls for Immediate Return of Misdeclared Garbage to Its Origin, Group urges PH to ban importation of waste plastic

EcoWaste Coalition Slams Boatload of Garbage from South Korea, Calls for Immediate Return of Misdeclared Garbage to Its Origin, Group urges PH to ban importation of waste plastic

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:
https://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/11/10/18/basura-mula-south-korea-dumating-sa-pilipinas

“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-

Reference:

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”)

http://www.competitive.org.ph/doingbusiness/reference/downloads/Summit/forupload/RDTAB/1._Customs_Modernization_and_Tariff_Act.pdf

CONTACT:

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 336, Eagle Court, 26 Matalino St., 1100 Quezon City, Philippines

Phone/Fax: 4411846  E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

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Global survey reveals FMCG companies’ contribution to plastic pollution crisis

Global survey reveals FMCG companies’ contribution to plastic pollution crisis

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.

Key findings:

  • 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.[1] If current trends continue, their use of single-use plastic will increase in parallel.

ENDS

Photo and video here

Notes:

[1]  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.

Contacts:

Greenpeace International Press Desk, pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org, phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

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Polluters Bury their Heads in the Sand Instead of Committing to Reduce their Plastic Footprint

Polluters Bury their Heads in the Sand Instead of Committing to Reduce their Plastic Footprint

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nusa Dua (Bali, Indonesia), October 29th Today at the Our Ocean conference, corporations are yet again refusing to take responsibility for their role in creating and perpetuating the plastic pollution crisis.

At a side-event organised by Ocean Conservancy and Circulate Capital, companies exposed as the world’s Top Polluters by the recent #breakfreefromplastic brand audit report committed funds to a new “catalytic capital fund” to “solve” the plastic pollution crisis. Coca-Cola, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and PepsiCo all in the top 10 of corporate brands found on plastic pollution worldwide sat alongside Dow, one of the world’s largest producers of plastic, as self-identified “frontrunning” corporate leaders working to tackle plastic pollution through improved waste management and technology.

Global #breakfreefromplastic Coordinator Von Hernandez states, “Plastic is pollution the minute it is made. The problem with plastic pollution is not one of waste management or ocean leakage; rather, the problem is that there is simply too much plastic being pushed upon us by industry than can be safely and properly dealt with. In any crisis, the most important action is how you address the source of the problem.”

The very corporations pushing these inadequate solutions are at the same time pumping an overwhelming amount of plastic into markets across the world with no responsibility or intention for the plastic after its initial use.

If these companies are serious about addressing plastic pollution, they must significantly decrease and ultimately eliminate single-use plastics.  For a start, these corporations should disclose publicly the amount of plastic each of them is pushing into local markets and waste management systems across the world, and accept regulations instead of making weak, voluntary commitments. This ‘catalytic capital’ would be better invested in alternative delivery systems for products which don’t require single-use or plastic overpackaging. (See Leadership Challenge to Corporate Plastic Polluters of #breakfreefromplastic)

Experts on the ground in cities and communities  have already innovated on zero waste solutions to improve local collection and waste prevention systems, and expose problematic products. Examples can be found around the world in the Philippines, Indonesia, India, across Europe, the US for a fraction of the cost. For example, one zero waste project in the Philippines averages at $2.30 per person per year.3

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) has estimated that an initial influx of $30 million could provide zero waste programs for the entire Metro Manila area over two years. Corporations should be investing capital to support and replicate these solutions.

As the major contributors to the plastic pollution crisis, these companies should pursue true innovation in plastic reduction, instead of the same inadequate waste management approaches. Only then will we truly #breakfreefromplastic.

###

NOTES

 

  1. ‘Branded: In Search of the World’s Top Corporate Plastic Polluters’  details the results of 239 cleanups in 42 countries on 6 continents. The report was released on October 9, 2018. http://bit.ly/brandauditreport2018
  2. On the eve of the 2018 Our Ocean Conference, the #breakfreefromplastic movement has released a challenge to the Top Polluters identified in the global brand audit to pursue real solutions to the plastic crisis, not the same hollow commitments and empty gestures. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2D6YhVN
  3. http://www.no-burn.org/whatawaste2-0/

#breakfreefromplastic is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in September 2016, nearly 1,300 organizations from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. These organizations share the common values of environmental protection and social justice, which guide their work at the community level and represent a global, unified vision.

CONTACT DETAILS

  1. Jed Alegado, +63917-6070248, jed@breakfreefromplastic.org
  2. Sherma Benosa, +63920-9038511, sherma@no-burn.org
  3. Claire Arkin, +1 9734444869, claire@no-burn.org
  4. Matthew Franklin, +44 7923 37 38 31,  matt@breakfreefromplastic.org

 

 

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Corporate Leadership Badly Needed to Reverse Plastic Pollution Crisis

Corporate Leadership Badly Needed to Reverse Plastic Pollution Crisis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bali, Indonesia (October 28, 2018) — On the eve of Our Ocean Conference 2018, the global #breakfreefromplastic movement challenged corporations to  demonstrate real leadership to reverse the plastic pollution crisis instead of making more hollow commitments and empty gestures, which only tend to perpetuate the problem.

“To put an end to the plastic pollution crisis, corporations need to step up with meaningful, game-changing and  authentic measures that would significantly reduce their plastic footprint and move our societies away from the scourge of  single-use, throwaway and problematic plastic packaging,” said Von Hernandez, Global Coordinator of #breakfreefromplastic.

Movement leaders asserted that corporations have the ability and resources to solve the problem if they want to, but lamented that no large company has yet had the courage to implement serious plastics reduction policies and institute new delivery systems that do not rely on disposable, throwaway plastic.

A recently published Greenpeace report highlights that plans by 11 of  the world’s biggest fast-moving consumer goods corporations (FMCGs)  actually allow for an indefinite increase in their use of single-use plastics,  with no company planning to put the brakes on the growing production and marketing of single-use plastics.  

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.

“If we allow these corporations to carry on with business as usual, global plastic production will continue to rise, further aggravating the plastic pollution crisis. We need them to commit to  ambitious plastics use reduction targets. The planet needs real solutions. The time for greenwashing is over,” said Graham Forbes of Greenpeace.

“It is ironic that the  companies whom our brand audits have identified as topnotch polluters are the same companies who typically relish sponsoring beach cleanups. The planet would be better served if they would clean up their acts instead.” said Jane Patton, who coordinated #breakfreefromplastic’s most recent brand audits.

For her part, Delphine Lévi Alvarès, Coordinator of the Rethink Plastic alliance said, “this week, the European Parliament has shown that it is possible to take strong legislative action on plastic pollution. As governments start taking responsibility for resolving this crisis, so too must corporations! Given the scale of the problem, we can no longer rely on voluntary and arbitrary  targets coming from corporations.”

Warning of false solutions promoted by companies to greenwash their image and wash their hands of responsibility for the crisis, the global movement issued a Leadership Challenge to fast-moving consumer companies, which includes demands to:

  • Reduce (their) single-use plastic production and usage with a clear action plan and timeline and transparently reporting  on their plastic footprint ;
  • Invest in alternative product delivery systems, while disincentivising single-use, throwaway packaging;
  • Reject false and unproven solutions like thermal waste-to-energy incineration, plastic to fuel schemes, chemical recycling and other regrettable replacements;
  • Collaborate with retailers, governments and NGOs to create scalable solutions to plastic pollution – including support for ambitious legislation that rewards plastics reduction and penalizes plastics overuse.

According to the World Economic Forum, up to 12 million tonnes of plastic, often single-use items including packaging,  enter the sea from land every year. With plastic production expected to increase by 40% in the next decade, making it almost impossible for waste management and recycling schemes to keep up.

Multinational consumer brands have been flooding Asian countries with single-use plastic packaging, despite knowing that the resulting waste will inevitably  pollute these terrestrial and marine environments in the region,

“Despite the best efforts of our kelurahan (villages) to compost and recycle as much as they can, we are still left with waste that are beyond our capacity to manage. We call on companies to eliminate or redesign these problematic products and packaging and for the Indonesian government to ban straws, plastic bags, styrofoam, sachet, and microbeads,” Yuyun Ismawati from Alliance Zero Waste Indonesia (AZWI) emphasized.

Groups belonging to AZWI have been demonstrating zero waste solutions for  communities across Indonesia, with a focus on waste prevention, segregation and composting.

The annual Our Ocean Conference brings together representatives of governments, civil society, science, finance and businesses from around the world to discuss ocean protection and pledge commitments. //ends

__________________________________________________________________________

Break Free From Plastic is a global movement of more than 1,400 member groups and thousands of individuals united around a common goal: to bring systemic change through a holistic approach that tackles plastic pollution across the entire plastics value chain, focusing on prevention rather than cure and on providing effective solutions.

Contact: Jed Alegado

             #breakfreefromplastic Asia Pacific Communications Officer

             jed@breakfreefromplastic.org

             +63917-607-0248

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European Parliament takes historic stand against single-use plastic pollution

European Parliament takes historic stand against single-use plastic pollution

National governments must follow suit, say campaigners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Strasbourg, 24/10/2018

The European Parliament has leapt forward to protect people and the environment from plastic pollution, and national governments must now show the same ambition, according to the Rethink Plastic alliance.

An overwhelming majority in the European Parliament voted today to strengthen the European Commission’s plan to cut pollution from single-use plastic items. [1] The Parliament voted to ban some of the most problematic throwaway products, such as expanded polystyrene food containers, and to ensure producers are held accountable for the costs of single-use plastic pollution. For fishing gear, one of the largest contributors to marine litter, harmonised standards will be developed and minimum collection and recycling targets will be set at the EU level. [2]

“The European Parliament has made history by voting to reduce single-use plastics and slash plastic pollution in our rivers and ocean” said Justine Maillot, EU Affairs Project Officer at Surfrider Foundation Europe on behalf of Rethink Plastic. “Citizens across Europe want to see an end to plastic pollution. It’s now up to national governments to keep the ambition high, and resist corporate pressure to continue a throwaway culture.”

However, campaigners are disappointed that the full Parliament did not adopt a ban on very light-weight single-use plastic bags supported by the Environment committee.

A leaked letter recently exposed how major plastic polluters such as Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Danone are lobbying national environment ministers to water down the directive. [3]

Representatives of EU national governments are expected to meet later this month to agree on their joint position, and the three-way negotiations between governments, the European Parliament, and the European Commission could then start as soon as early November.

ENDS

NOTES:

[1] European Commission steps forward to cut on single-use plastics – but it’s just the beginning, Rethink Plastic alliance

[2] The measures adopted include:

  • A EU-wide ban of single-use plastic cotton buds, straws, plates and cutlery (with exemptions until 2023), beverage stirrers, balloon sticks, oxo-degradable plastics and expanded polystyrene food containers and cups
  • An obligation for EU countries to adopt measures to achieve a 25% reduction of the consumption of food containers and cups for beverages
  • An obligation for EU countries to reduce post-consumption waste from tobacco product filters containing plastic by 50 % by 2025 and 80 % by 2030,
  • Extended Producer Responsibilty (EPR) schemes that include the cost of clean up and awareness raising measures
  • Harmonised standards and an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme for fishing gear, as well as a 50% collection target and a 15% recycling target for fishing gear by 2025
  • An obligation to separately collect 90% of beverage containers and ensure they are produced from 35% recycled content by 2025
  • An obligation to prevent the use of hazardous chemicals in the composition of sanitary items
  • An obligation to label products to inform consumers about the presence of chemicals of concern in certain single-use plastic products

These measures apply to all single-use plastics listed in the Annexes including bio-based and biodegradable plastics.

[3] Coca Cola, Pepsi and Nestle attempt to water down new plastics laws, leaked letter reveals, The IndependentDrinks giants rail against EU bottle cap plan, Euractiv

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Plastic producers could market single-use items as reusable to dodge EU ban

Plastic producers could market single-use items as reusable to dodge EU ban

European Parliament must close loopholes, say campaigners.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Brussels, 10/10/2018

Producers could simply market items like throwaway plastic cups as reusable, under changes to a draft EU laws on single-use plastics tabled today in the European Parliament, the Rethink Plastic alliance of NGOs has warned.

The European Parliament’s environment committee voted on a proposal that would introduce new rules on plastics including bans on certain single-use plastic products responsible for marine pollution, and require European governments to set reduction targets for others.

Campaigners are concerned that the committee’s proposed definition of ‘single-use’ plastic items is too narrow, and could lead to producers easily avoiding bans, and would allow them to ignore reduction targets and other measures to reduce plastic pollution. [1]

Speaking on behalf of the Rethink Plastic alliance, Greenpeace EU chemicals policy director Kevin Stairs​ said: “This loophole is a serious oversight by the Parliament and goes against common sense. Everyone knows a throwaway plastic cup or straw when they see one – companies simply marketing them as reusable won’t stop pollution of our rivers and oceans. A turtle choked on relabelled plastic is still a dead turtle.”

The environment committee added very lightweight plastic bags, polystyrene food and drink containers, and products made of ‘oxo-degradable’ plastic [2] to the list of banned items originally proposed by the European Commission. The proposed rules would also require plastic bottles to be made with 35% recycled plastic and introduce collection and recycling targets for fishing gear, a key contributor to marine pollution.

The European Parliament will vote in plenary in the week of 22 October on the environment committee’s proposals.

Yesterday, the global Break Free From Plastic movement published the results of 239 clean-ups and brand audits in 42 countries on six continents, revealing the extent of plastic pollution. The companies responsible for the most plastic pollution were Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé. Full details at bit.ly/brandauditreport2018.

On the same day, a 260,000-strong petition calling for the legislation to hold companies responsible for plastic pollution was delivered to members of the European Parliament’s environment committee by Rethink Plastic, Break Free From Plastic and Sum of Us.

ENDS

NOTES:

[1] The definition supported by the European Parliament’s environment committee concerns any plastic product “designed or placed on the market to be used only once over a short time span before it is discarded”.

[2] Oxo-degradable plastics are supposedly biodegradable plastics, which in reality break down into small fragments and contribute to harmful microplastic pollution in the oceans and other ecosystems.

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