...

Member in Spotlight – Zero Waste Alliance Ukraine

Please introduce yourself and your organisation?

Hello, my name is Sofia, I am a head of the Zero Waste Alliance Ukraine, which is based in, you will never guess -  in Ukraine! At the moment, the Alliance consists of 3 founding  organisations - Zero Waste Lviv (Lviv, Ukraine), Zero Waste Society (Kyiv, Ukraine) and Zero Waste Kharkiv (Kharkiv, Ukraine). I co-founded the Alliance back in 2018, and I love the story of how we got together and created this union. At the time I was a part of the Zero Waste Lviv team, and in October 2018 we organized a Zero Waste Weekend - a two day event full of lectures, meetings and brainstorms on the topic of “How do we make zero waste a normality in Ukraine”. We invited many participants from different towns, and even counties and we were lucky to host Helene Patterman, who was a part of Zero Waste Austria team. After the many official meetings, some of us decided to do one more activity - bar hopping!. And as usually happens, after the second cider we decided to create an Alliance. On a more serious note, the need for creating a united national zero waste front in the waste management system in Ukraine, was made clear a long time ago. In 2016, Lviv witnessed a great tragedy at one of the landfills - four people died during a landfill fire and the question of waste management became very urgent and visible. With very little information about different approaches toward waste management in cities,  we desperately needed   more  information that we could share amongst us and other stakeholders. And so we founded one great organisation and one great network:- Zero Waste Europe and Break Free From Plastic. We were amazed by the number of people who joined and we were inspired by the amount of knowledge and resources this network holds. We knew that this was a community we wanted to be a part of. So in the fall of 2018, three Ukrainian zero waste NGOs got together, created an Alliance and later on joined Zero Waste Europe and Break Free From Plastic. As an Alliance a big part of our work consists of campaigns and advocacy work. We are lucky to have an opportunity to join the international campaigns such as We Choose Reuse, Brand Audit, EnvironMenstrual Week, Plastic Free July. We advocate for solutions such as Extended Producers Responsibility, collecting and composting organic waste systems. Last but not least a big part of our work is dedicated to the Zero Waste Cities Programme since two Ukrainian municipalities, Lviv and Lubotyn, joined the programme. 

Why is plastic pollution an important issue for your organisation? What’s the story?

For all of us who created the Alliance, we have at least one thing in common - the desire to use resources rationally.  We just don’t understand why we rely so much on single-use plastic if it can easily be substituted by a reusable item. Why would we buy a 10th pair of jeans, if we don’t really need them? Why is the emphasis on recycling so strong, instead of on reusability first? All these issues and questions bring us a great deal of discomfort and we continue to wonder why environmental issues are still not a priority (at least not in Ukraine). With all that is happening in the world, floods and fires there is still a very passive approach towards accepting the fact that there is an environmental crisis and we actually need to do something about it! “Oh well, what can we do!” - they say. Well, there is a lot that we can and need to do. This is why we are who we are, and why we do what we do. 

Tell us more about your ongoing campaigns and activities 

We are insanely excited but during the next few weeks, the door to the Alliance membership will become open and we expect 5-7 new members. This will give the Alliance so much in terms of creating impact. For instance, just recently the new draft law on single-use plastics was put out to the public, so we are working on an analysis and preparing a policy-paper.  and we want these documents to be spread wide among the stakeholders of our current and future members.  We are continuing our work through the Zero Waste Cities Programme by preparing an informational campaign on organic waste composting and strengthening our work with Lviv and Lubityn’s municipalities. We are also planning an EnvironMenstrual campaign, and future activities within the #WeChooseReuse campaign. Last but not the least, we just conducted seven brand audits in seven Ukrainian cities, so we are getting ready to prepare various case-studies from different waste perspectives which we will share and spread across our network!

When did your organisation become a core member of BFFP? What difference has being a part of Break Free From Plastic made for you?

Zero Waste Alliance Ukraine became a BFFP core member on our second birthday in the spring of 2020! BFFP has given us a strong community. To be a part of such a great group of people from all around the world showed us that we are not alone on our journey. Everyday it gives us a tremendous amount of motivation.  By being a member ofBFFP we have also gained access to a huge amount of resources and information. Unfortunately, as the research base in Ukraine is not that strong yet,  we were missing a lot of data to support our arguments. With the BFFP we could find the resources we needed to support our work.  The last one might sound silly, but we do experience a non-EU country mentality, where everything that happens in EU-countries is automatically seen as positive and should be replicated in Ukraine. On the one hand it gives us some trouble (incineration, for example), but on the other hand, whenever we mention that we are a part of this international community, we always get a “wow, that is so cool!” response, which very often opens the doors for communication with different stakeholders.

What is the most ridiculous plastic product or packaging that you have seen?

Single-use plastic lid for a single-use cup packed in a single-use plastic bag! My friend sent me this picture with the message “this planet is doomed!”. Well, there is still so much we need to do and change, but I believe that we can and we will do it. It will take a lot of time, a lot of patience and a lot of nerve-cells. But with the right people on your side there is nothing you cannot do, right?  

...

Member in the Spotlight for September: Recycling Netwerk Benelux

  Please introduce yourself and your organisation My name is Lindsey Wuisan and I am a Strategic Manager for the plastic transition at RNB, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. RNB is an eNGO with the objective to help reduce our society´s resource use and prevent (plastic) waste, by pushing for ambitious legislation and corporate responsibility. We cover the whole of the Benelux, but mostly focus on the Netherlands and Belgium.    Why is plastic pollution an important issue for your organisation? What’s the story? In the past, RNB´s lobby and advocacy work has focused mostly on deposit return systems for plastic bottles and beverage cans. Gradually we started to address the whole phenomenon of single-use packaging, as well as the legislation (e.g. SUPD) and Extended Producer Responsibility schemes at national level. For instance, we contributed to this investigation uncovering the lobby strategies of Green Dot organisations (here's an article in French).  The reason why we focus on plastics (packaging) is because most of their use is not in line with circular economy principles. Besides the fact that they are mostly based on fossil resources, plastic packaging is made for the dump after only a short timespan of use. Even though the Netherlands like to call themselves a pioneer in the circular economy, reality is a different story. In 2017, about 1.900 kilotonnes of plastics were put on the market in the Netherlands. About 1.650 kilotonnes of plastic waste was treated, of which 512 kilotonnes of plastic packaging. Only 243 kilotonnes of plastics was actually “recycled” (in reality 35-39% according to the new methodology), while 52.5% was incinerated. Clearly, this situation is completely at odds with the circular and climate goals of the Netherlands. We need to transition to a circular plastics economy focusing on prevention and reuse.  

“Incineration of plastic waste is at odds with Europe’s circular and climate goals. A real circular economy prioritises prevention and reuse.”

  Tell us more about your ongoing campaigns and activities  After years of campaigning, and building partnerships through the DRS Alliance, a deposit return system for plastic bottles has finally been introduced in the Netherlands! Belgium, however, is still lagging behind. So our lobby activities and campaigns, such as “DRS, Yes We Can!” , continue there at full strength. At the same time, we actively promote the reuse transition, for instance through Mission Reuse, which is a platform in the Netherlands. We also actively stimulate reuse in Belgium, where we have performed the Deliveround project on reuse systems. Recently, we published a manual for restaurants who want to offer reusable packaging, and helped to develop a tool to calculate the environmental benefits of reuse. Thirdly, we have been and are still actively lobbying for an ambitious implementation of the SUPD at EU and national level, in close collaboration with BFFP.    When did your organisation become a core member of BFFP? What difference has being a part of Break Free From Plastic made for you? We became a core member of BFFP in 2018. Gradually we have become more and more active in the movement and are currently co-leading the task forces on reuse and DRS. Being a member of BFFP is immensely useful to us because of the knowledge exchange, inspiring activities/campaigns and of course the network. That is why we are currently the BFFP coordinator for the Benelux, in order to share information and collaborate with other organisations.   What is the most ridiculous plastic product or packaging that you have seen? Fresh apple in plastic: What do you find shocking in the plastic waste landscape that you think everybody should know about? Most people know that plastics are made from fossil fuels. Few people know that the plastics industry is shifting towards cheap ethane gas, a by-product of fracked natural gas, imported from the U.S. While the EU is aiming towards a circular economy and reduction of plastic waste, there are plans in various countries to build chemical plants to continue the fossil addiction, like INEOS in Belgium. As this article states: “the U.S./Europe trade in petrochemical by-products (…) could potentially undermine the European goals on both waste and carbon emissions”.   We would like to thank Lindsey Wuisan for this interview.  

...

Meet the Climate Activists Doing Brand Audits

BFFP changemakers Laura and Mary Lou first met 9 years ago, when Laura joined one of Mary Lou’s beach cleanups at their local beach in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, USA.

Mary Lou has led cleanups and collected litter data at this particular location 45 times since 2011 with her volunteer-run nonprofit, Be the Solution to Pollution. After years of collecting litter data, however, these changemakers took their activism to the next level with brand audits. Doing a brand audit takes that citizen science one step further by identifying the companies that are responsible for the plastic waste washing up on beaches and littering communities worldwide.  Recently, both Mary Lou and Laura became Climate Reality leaders through the Climate Reality Project and are founding members of Climate Reality Massachusetts Southcoast. They have both become increasingly aware of the multiple connections between plastic and climate change so the brand audit was a joint effort between the two organizations, Be the Solution to Pollution and Climate Reality Massachusetts Southcoast. They also collaborated with youth leaders from our local chapter of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate justice network advocating for a Green New Deal in the USA. We decided a Brand Audit would be a helpful activity to educate people about where plastic is coming from and why we need corporate responsibility for plastic pollution. Often, beach cleanups focus on personal responsibility and curbing littering, but with the brand audit, we shifted our focus to the companies responsible for creating the plastic in the first place. The audit gave us the information we needed to specifically call out the brands responsible for the disgusting beach litter you see above in our photos. We had 62 volunteers of all ages participate in data collection and several helped sort plastics by brand onto a tarp so we could mail representative samples back to the companies that produced the plastic. It’s time these companies clean up after themselves, instead of us always cleaning up after them! We have done countless cleanups for years; more plastic debris always washes up soon after our cleanups. Our volunteers recorded a total of 1,859 plastic waste items.  The top polluters were Dunkin Donuts, Poland Springs and Pepsico. We gathered plastic into boxes and mailed it back to these polluting companies with a letter created using the template from BFFP, which was especially empowering. This is called a return to Sender! Check out the Brand Audit Toolkit to learn more, so you can do this too. The Brand Audit takes data collection to a new level by adding brand names to as many plastic waste items as possible.  As we entered names into the spreadsheet provided by Break Free From Plastic, parent company names popped up.  It was shocking to see the number of brands all owned by a small number of parent companies like The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and others.  Following the beach cleanup and brand audit, we had speeches from three local youth including a nine-year-old, two middle schoolers, and a college student from our local hub of the Sunrise Movement. Their speeches ranged from a detailed explanation of how plastic and climate change are intertwined (complete with citations!) to an impassioned plea to companies to break free from plastic and stop polluting and littering our world. One of our speakers even came up with her own acronym to help solve the problem! Empowering our youth to speak up about the problem and how it makes them angry is an important part of our mission. You can see their speeches and more about the day here. We were fortunate to have a reporter from the local paper stay for our entire event.  She was very observant and asked great questions.  We ended up on the front page of the Sunday paper! We followed our brand audit up with a webinar later in the month about Toxic Plastics and Climate Change that featured Mary Lou, as well as BFFP’s global brand audit coordinator Sybil Bullock, and recent Goldman Environmental Prize winner Sharon Lavigne. And our work continues - we have plans to do our next brand audit on August 8, 2021!   About the authors: Mary Lou Nicholson - Founder of Be the Solution to Pollution shoreline cleanup group, Climate leader with Climate Reality Project Southcoast MA, member of the education committee for Operation Clean Sweep in New Bedford, MA and professional nanny for 28 years.  On a mission to persuade people to switch to reusables and skip single use plastic since 2011. On Instagram as @marylou4oceans. Laura Gardner- Chair of Climate Reality Massachusetts Southcoast, a new chapter in 2019. Teacher Librarian at Dartmouth Middle School in Dartmouth, Massachusetts and mom to two fabulous kids. On Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads as @LibrarianMsG  

...

Eco Groups Welcome Passage of National Single-Use Plastic Regulation

Quezon City, Philippines The pollution watchdog EcoWaste Coalition lauds the House of Representative for passing a national regulation on single-use plastic, which signifies a first step towards eradicating plastic pollution in the country.  “We welcome the timely passage of House Bill 9147 and we now challenge our Senators to act and pass a stronger national single-use plastic regulation. The Senate version should be more aggressive, responsive and promote genuine solutions to curb plastic production and consumption and should not promote dirty solutions such as plastics offsetting, plastic credit, incineration and thermal treatment,” said Coleen Salamat, Plastic Solutions Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition. With 190 affirmative votes, zero negative, the House of Representatives approved in the final reading the House Bill 9147 last July 28, 2021. The bill sets a gradual phase-out period for different plastic products and imposes accountability to plastic producers and manufacturers.  Similar bills on the regulation of single-use plastics have been filed in the Senate since 2019 but, so far, none of the bills have moved beyond the Committee level.       2020 data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Environmental Management Bureau, revealed that four hundred and eighty-eight (488) local government units have ordinances banning single-use plastics. With this, the stand of the local government against plastic pollution is evident. “We only have a few weeks left in the legislative calendar and with the 2022 national elections fast approaching, we believe that now is the right time to pass the national regulation on single-use plastics. Our environment and communities cannot afford to go back to start with this bill in the new Congress,” said Salamat.  It can be recalled that in 2019, Palace officials warmed up to the idea of a plastic ban. As the lower house passed House Bill 9147, the group urged the Philippine Senate to act in response to this. With the increasing plastic consumption due to the pandemic, plastic waste is estimated to increase by 300%.   # # # For more information, please contact: EcoWaste Coalition info@ecowastecoalition.org   

...

New report from Climate Tracker and Break Free from Plastic shines light on media coverage of plastics in Southeast Asia

On June 30, 2021, Climate Tracker and Break Free from Plastic launched a report titled The Plastic Pandemic: Has COVID-19 Shifted the Media Discourse on Plastics in Southeast Asia?, which assessed media coverage of plastics in Southeast Asia before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The report, which is the first of its kind as it delves into the narrative frames used by journalists to communicate the issue of plastic pollution in Southeast Asia, draws from an in-depth analysis of media coverage in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines as well as interviews with a total of 43 journalists and media practitioners from the region.  The report found that plastics, which are made from fossil fuels, were rarely discussed in the context of climate change. “Since climate change is one of the threats to long-term stability in Southeast Asia, there is really a need to address the plastics problem with renewed urgency,” said Patricia Valerio, Climate Tracker Research Manager.  “Despite the efforts of Break Free from Plastic Asia Pacific and its members to shift the narrative, more work needs to be done in countering greenwashing and PR stunts of corporations which are geared towards stopgap measures,” added Jed Alegado, Senior Communications Officer for Break Free from Plastic, Asia Pacific. “Clearly, we need to strengthen the link between plastics and climate in the Asia Pacific region.”  Another one of the report’s main findings is that, since media coverage focused on reducing plastic consumption instead of production, there was a heavy focus on individual responsibility and little scrutiny of plastic producers. The increase in plastic waste that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic did not significantly shift this discourse.  “I found the notion that Southeast Asian media coverage is focused on individual responsibility instead of corporate and government accountability most compelling,” said Janssen Calvelo, Break Free from Plastic’s Network Organizer for Southeast Asia, about the report. “It posits that there is still much work to be done in sending the message that unless multinational and large corporations stop plastic production and ASEAN governments implement enabling environment through policies, real and substantial solutions to plastic will not be achieved.”  Journalists across the region also faced multiple challenges in reporting on plastics. For example, in Malaysia, physical safety emerged as a concern among journalists who wanted to conduct investigations on plastic recycling factories. “Freedom of information is important and good for everyone,” said Heng Kiah Chun, Greenpeace Malaysia Campaigner, about the lack of freedom-of-information laws in Malaysia. “Journalists and activists are having a hard time accessing reliable data from the government.”  Still, the report shows that plastics were negatively framed across all Southeast Asian countries studied — an encouraging sign for advocates against plastic use. “The most interesting part of the report is learning that our effort since at least two decades ago to push the narrative against plastic pollution has been successful,” said Rahyang Nusantara, Indonesia Plastic Bag Diet Movement National Coordinator. “In Indonesia itself, 93 percent of media articles framed plastics negatively.”  Journalists who want to deepen their reporting on the problem of plastic pollution are welcome to get in touch with organizations such as Break Free from Plastic and its partners.  “Media practitioners, as well as those who are helping in further professionalizing this noble work, can get help from civil society organizations working on plastic pollution. We can offer collaborations, leads, and help in framing and angles of your story ideas,” Alegado said. “We need to dig deeper into the plastic pollution crisis from production up to disposal as well as its links to other social and environmental justice issues.”  “Plastic pollution does not only impact our environment, but also has long-lasting and well-documented impacts on human rights, climate change, economy, and diplomacy, to name a few,” added Calvelo. “Feel free to reach out to us for more information and case studies.”  Both the full report and an executive summary can be found here. A podcast that gives an overview of country researchers’ perspectives can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and Stitcher.  For more information, please contact the following:  Jed Alegado Break Free from Plastic Asia Pacific Senior Communications Officer jed@breakfreefromplastic.org  Yvonne Tan Malaysia Researcher yvonnetanyf@gmail.com  Ariel Adimahavira Indonesia Researcher adimahavirariel@gmail.com Kadesiree Thossaphonpaisan Thailand Researcher kade.thoss@gmail.com ĐỗThuỳTrang Vietnam Researcher dotrangplvn@gmail.com  Patricia Valerio Philippines Researcher Climate Tracker Research Manager patricia@climatetracker.org

...

Kenya civil society comes together to launch zero plastics coalition

On March 24th the Centre For Environment Justice and Development held a consultative meeting with grassroots organizations and other stakeholders in the waste management sector with support from Break Free From Plastic. The goal of the meeting was to deliberate on the need to form a unified civil society voice to champion plastic pollution reduction and elimination in Kenya. With no space for civil society organizations to come together and advocate with a collective voice for a zero plastic waste Kenya, the group of organizations present at the meeting designed a set of recommendations around safeguarding the rights of the public against plastic and chemical pollution.  Kenya has been a leading force against plastic pollution in Africa. In 2017, the country enacted a protective law against single use plastic which has been cited as a model for many other nations. However, since 2017, the country has faced many challenges in the implementation of the law including among others; illegal imports of plastic bags, poor enforcement of laws, and lobbying against the ban on plastics by the government through the Ministry of Trade and Ministry of the Environment. A total of 24 participants drawn from various civil-society organizations across the country attended the forum. Organizations such as Clean up Kenya, Slums Going Green and Clean, Kenya Safi, African sustainability Network, Strathmore University. James Wakibia, environmental activist and photojournalist championing the ban of single use plastics, was also present at the forum.

The impact

1. The members agreed to form a movement against plastic pollution and named it “CSOs for Zero Plastics in Kenya”

2. The members agreed that advocacy work should target both plastic reduction from upstream (production and; manufacturing as priority and downstream (waste management)

3. The members agreed to bring together all like-minded organizations including faith-based organizations (FBOs), community advocacy groups, youth initiatives, individuals advocating against plastic pollution/campaigners, academia, NGOs, policy-makers, media, and grassroots representation e.g waste pickers to become a part of the coalition.

Key takeaways

1. The platform expects the government to integrate waste pickers in the formal waste management system and recognize their efforts in reviving the circular Economy with formal measures of social protection. 

2. The platform expects the government  to  invest in solutions that  work for people and planet  and that will  help in achieving a zero waste society, economic recovery and job creation in Kenya

3. The platform expects the government to work towards the banning of waste incineration which leads to a green recovery.

4. The platform expects the government to  break Free from plastics  by enacting policies that drastically reduce plastic production and consumption

5. The platform expects the government to put local communities first by ensuring transparency in how projects are implemented and how taxpayer money is used to promote sustainability.

 

Overheard at the meeting

“Recycling is not enough, it's time to rethink how to solve the plastic waste crisis.” 
- Griffins Ochieng, Executive Director at Centre for Environment Justice and Development
“When we started the Africa Is Not a Dumpster campaign our main goal was to request the government not to accept the trade deal that was in place….at that time our voice was weak because we're alone but with the CSO we trust that our voice will be strong.” 
- Kaluki Paul, Co-founder at Kenya Environment Action Network KEAN
“Why do we have a lot of plastics in Kenya and some single materials in our park yet there is a rule banning them entering the park?
- Caroline Kibii, EnviroWild 
“It's time civil society joins hands to lobby and have a seat in policy-making forums to promote a sustainable environment.” 
- Mr. Christopher Murithi, Embulbul Environment Waste Management
“We need a transition to work together and have a strong voice in addressing plastic pollution in Kenya.” 
- Batterman Simidi, Clean Up Kenya
“It's time to involve religious organizations in the fight since they interact with people and have the power to influence them in making right decisions.” 
- John Henry, Africa Nazarene University Thank you to Patricia M Kombo for providing this report. 

 

...

Member in the spotlight – Environmental Investigation Agency

Please introduce yourself(-ves) and your organisation? We are six in the Environmental Investigation Agency Ocean Team!

◾ Jennifer Lonsdale , EIA Founder and Senior Ocean Campaigner [Co-founded and has worked at EIA since 1984, UK based], ◾ Clare Perry, Ocean & Climate Campaign Leader  [Worked at EIA for 20 years, Spain based], ◾ Chris Dixon, Deputy Ocean Campaign Lead [Worked at EIA for 2 years, UK based], ◾ Tim Grabiel, Senior Lawyer [Worked at EIA for 10 years, France based], ◾ Tom Gammage, Ocean Campaigner [Worked at EIA for  1.5 years, UK based] ◾ and Lauren Weir, Ocean Campaigner  [Worked at EIA for 7 months, UK based]

Our Ocean work focuses on three threats to the marine environment and biodiversity: plastic pollution, fishing gear, and other threats to marine animals, in particular the commercial exploitation of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). Specifically when it comes to plastic pollution we work on the issue at the UK, regional (EU) and international level, pushing governments and corporates to catalyse a shift away from our single-use society, phasing out all but the most essential plastics, and campaigning to secure a global treaty on plastic. Why is plastic pollution an important issue for your organisation? What’s the story? EIA has never shied away from investigating and campaigning on difficult environmental issues. It was founded in 1984, exposing the Faroese pilot whale hunt as its first campaign. It quickly evolved into an organisation investigating and campaigning against a wide range of environmental crime and abuse. In the early 1990’s this included successfully persuading the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to study environmental threats to whale populations - like the then recently discovered ‘ozone hole’, climate change, pollution and overfishing.  In 2012 with plastic pollution identified as an increasing threat to cetaceans and the marine environment, EIA committed to working to tackle this threat.  We started researching plastic and other marine debris impacts on cetaceans in 2012, producing a scientific paper for the 64th meeting of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The paper was eventually published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin and helped to initiate a series of marine debris workshops by the IWC. We also started campaigning on EU policy, including the EU Plastic Bags Directive, which was adopted in 2015. Following that the plastic campaign really gained traction when we joined a UK microbeads coalition with Greenpeace, Fauna & Flora International and the Marine Conservation Society, resulting in a UK ban on plastic microbeads in rinse off cosmetic products starting in 2018. Plastics is a hugely urgent, pervasive and complex environmental problem – with some powerful actors involved. It subsequently became an area of focus of our ocean work and one we are very committed to helping resolve.  Tell us more about your ongoing campaign(-s)/activity(-ies)  We have quite a few current workstreams, including: policy development for plastic reduction, pellets, fishing gear, mapping the plastic footprint of grocery retailers in the UK and campaigning for plastic reduction and reuse, agriplastics, plastic waste trade (especially at the EU and UK level), and campaigning for a global plastics treaty. Some recent coverage of our advocacy work with regards to a global plastics treaty can be found in this National Geographic article and this LA Times Op-Ed When did your organisation become a core member of BFFP? What does it mean for your organisation to be part of the BFFP movement? EIA joined Break Free From Plastic very early on and was one of its founding members. Sarah Baulch, previously EIA Oceans, attended the first meeting of the plastic alignment project in Manila in 2016.  The outputs, ambition and impact of the Break Free From Plastic members both individually and collectively is astounding, and being part of the movement has helped expand our reach. Skill, knowledge and data sharing is ultimately what will make this campaign area a success and we are all so happy to be involved. Particularly on our global plastics campaign we really benefit from the national experience from the different members around the globe and exchanging ideas on successful strategies and interventions in policy spaces.  What is the most ridiculous plastic product or packaging that you have seen? Anything non-essential. But some specific examples (thanks to Clare!) include  [caption id="attachment_8975" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]tic tac packaging “Tic Tac-ception”[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_8976" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Micro plastic from a football And given it is the Euros 2020 - micro-plastic from artificial turf in football pitches![/caption]   What do you find shocking in the plastic waste landscape that you think everybody should know about?  One that everyone is probably fully aware of, is the finiteness of plastic recyclability. So many commitments and targets are principally focused on a false solution - the fact that plastic can only be recycled a few times as the waste stream quickly becomes contaminated with unwanted additives and still requires virgin feedstock to maintain polymeric integrity. And that isn’t even accounting for plastic that is designed in such a way that it is non-recyclable!  And European and UK waste colonialism (in the form of irresponsible and harmful plastic waste exports) whilst touting themselves as environmental leaders. Thank you to Christina Dixon of the Environmental Investigation Agency for participating in this interview.  

...

EARTH call on the Thai government to Ratify the Basel Ban Amendment, End Toxic Waste Imports

Environmental NGO Ecological Alert Recovery – Thailand (EARTH) submitted letters to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and the Minister of Industry, calling on the Thai government to ratify the Basel Convention Ban Amendment, which will end the imports of toxic plastic wastes and e-waste into the country and for government agencies to strictly regulate dirty recycling industries that cause pollution.
25th November 2021 – at 10:00, representatives of EARTH led by Mr. Akarapon Teebthaisong, research and technical staff, submitted a letter to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, with Mr. Talerngsak Petchsuwan, the deputy director of the Pollution Control Department, and Mr. Titipan Chuchanchote, Head of the Office of the Minister, representing the minister in accepting the letter. The letter calls on the minister to push the Thai government to ratify the Basel Convention Ban Amendment. The Ban Amendment prohibits transboundary movement of toxic wastes between countries that ratified it – a move that would ensure an unconditional end to toxic waste imports that have caused pollution in many local communities over the past few years.
At 11:00, representatives of EARTH submitted another letter to the Minister of Industry, with Ms. Suvimol Boonkan, the Ministry’s Plan and Policy Analyst, representing the minister in accepting the letter. The letter demands that relevant agencies under the Ministry of Industry more strictly regulate activities of waste sorting and recycling industries. Without the ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment, waste imports have flooded into Thailand where they are managed and recycled by industries with poor records of waste treatment and environmental management. This has made dirty recycling a major source of pollution which has affected local communities in Thailand. In light of this, EARTH demands that the Ministry of Industry impose stricter regulations on waste sorting and recycling industries, and join the calls for the Thai government to ratify the urgently needed Basel Ban Amendment.