One of the programs of Mother Earth Foundation advocating for Zero Waste, is to also establish Zero Waste Stores for each of its Zero Waste Cities Partners. Thus, the organization included it on the BFFP PH Project to further strengthen the Solid Waste Program for its partner LGUs and address the program on single-use plastics. Unlike other Zero Waste Stores that can be found in Mega Manila, ‘JuanaZero’ serves the marginalized and the low to medium income communities. It offers products in reusable packaging such as basic condiments, soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce and cooking oil. It also sells pasta, rice, soap, detergent powder, dishwashing liquid. Most of these products are locally produced to support the local economy of the LGU. Last September, JuanaZero Malabon Branch had its soft launch and its first customers were  the waste workers that the organization worked with for the Solid Waste Management Program of the Cities of Malabon and Navotas. Currently, it offers more than 15 different products with reasonable cost to cater to the low to medium income community of Malabon and Navotas packed in reusable packaging. Customers can also bring their own container and enjoy discounts. JuanaZero is set to be offered to other MEF sites like Batangas City and Siquijor. All proceeds of JuanaZero goes to Waste Workers’ Scholarship Fund of MEF, supporting the education of the children of our hardworking waste workers in the different MEF ZW Sites: Malabon, Navotas, Batangas, Tacloban, Fort Bonifacio in Taguig, Nueva Vizcaya and in San Fernando, Pampanga. For more information, please visit: http://www.motherearthphil.org/


International Movement Seeks to Stop #Fracking4Plastics Antwerp Expansion

Environmental groups ask Flemish Environment Minister and Regions4 Climate Network’s Vice-President to reject permit for Ineos Project One

Brussels, 15 October 2020 - For immediate release A new expansion plan championed by petrochemical company Ineos, which would further deepen the environmentally disastrous connection between the plastics industry and the US fracking boom, is drawing international opposition. In 2016, Ineos – the largest ethylene producer in Europe – began importing fracked US ethane to Europe to turn into plastics at its facilities in the UK and Norway. The company now wants to invest €3billion to build a new ethane ‘cracker’ and a propylene producing propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant in the Port of Antwerp. Despite fierce opposition from local groups, the Flemish administration gave a positive opinion for the environmental permit, giving the green light for the commencement of the project, including the deforestation of an area of 50-55 hectares. Flemish Minister of the Environment Zuhal Demir – who is the Vice-President for Europe by the climate and biodiversity network Regions4 – has until the end of October to ratify the advice. An open letter signed by nearly 70 international groups, NGOs, networks and associations – which include Food & Water Action Europe, #BreakFreeFromPlastic, the Rethink Plastic alliance, Friends of the Earth Europe, Ireland and Scotland, Fractracker Alliance, UK Youth Climate Coalition, Zero Waste Europe, Carbon Market Watch, Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania and members of the #IneosWillFall campaign – urge Demir to object to the current deforestation request as well as the PDH plant and ethane cracker. The letter refers to the ambitions of the Regions4 network to fight climate change and biodiversity loss at the global level, and highlights the negative climate and environmental impacts of fracking and plastic production. It emphasises the need to take cumulative and transboundary climate and environmental effects into account, paying attention to the significant full lifecycle emissions along the supply chain. The signatories also refer to the ongoing unsolved plastic pellet pollution in protected Ramsar and Natura 2000 sites, and demand that no deforestation be allowed before any permitting decisions will be made on the ethane cracker and the PDH unit. “Apart from the fact that Ineos relies on climate hostile fracked US gas for their plans, we also see a clear breach of the existing Natura 2000 legislation that must be addressed”, says Andy Gheorghiu, policy advisor and campaigner for Brussels based NGO Food & Water Action Europe. Delphine Lévi Alvarès, Rethink Plastic alliance coordinator adds: “The European Union aims at being an international climate and environmental champion by tackling global warming and toxic plastic pollution and has set itself high targets to achieve this. Allowing this project to go ahead would take the EU, and particularly Belgium, a big step backwards from its energy and climate targets and the goals of the Paris Agreement.” “Ineos is a climate and environmental disaster — benefiting from fracking in the U.S. while attempting to bring the dangerous practice to the United Kingdom and mainland Europe to produce more plastic waste,” says Sarah Moyes, plastic and circular economy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland. “This company’s plans have been, and will be, met with a passionate, committed grassroots movement on both sides of the Atlantic.” “The #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement brings nearly 1,900 organisations around the world together to fight plastic pollution. The #Fracking4Plastics business of INEOS is fuelling the climate and plastic crisis, but together we can put a stop to their practices and expansion plans,” concludes Von Hernandez, global coordinator of Break Free From Plastic. Link to letter International Objection (EN) – August 2019 International Objection (NL) – August 2019 Contacts: Andy Gheorghiu, Policy advisor and Campaigner, Food & Water Action Europe, email: agheorghiu@fweurope.org, mobile: +49 160 20 30 974 Delphine Lévi Alvarès, Rethink Plastic Alliance Coordinator, email: delphine@rethinkplasticalliance.eu Sarah Moyes, Plastic and Circular Economy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Scotland email: smoyes@foe.scot Von Hernandez, Global Coordinator of Break Free From Plastic email: von@breakfreefromplastic.org  


Open letter: A coalition of NGOs call on the European Union to fully transpose the Basel Convention’s plastic amendments for intra-European waste trade

[et_pb_section fb_built="1" _builder_version="3.0.47" da_is_popup="off" da_exit_intent="off" da_has_close="on" da_alt_close="off" da_dark_close="off" da_not_modal="on" da_is_singular="off" da_with_loader="off" da_has_shadow="on" da_disable_devices="off|off|off"][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"]Virginijus Sinkevičius Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries,  CC: Mrs Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General of DG ENVI (Environment); and Kęstutis Sadauskas, Director for Circular Economy and Green Growth Dear Mr Sinkevičius, In May 2019, the 14th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Basel Convention adopted groundbreaking new amendments to impose stricter controls on the trade of the most problematic plastic waste. Not only did the European Union (EU) vote in favor of this change but it also co-sponsored the amendments that were originally proposed by Norway.  However, the European Commission, through a draft Delegated Regulation, has confirmed that it does not intend to transpose the new controls for plastic waste shipments happening within the EU. As it is, such a decision would have two main detrimental effects:

  1. It would completely undermine a legislative milestone adopted by 187 parties to the Basel Convention by sending a “do as I say, not as I do” message to the rest of the world;
  2. It would allow certain types of potentially hazardous plastics to be freely traded for incineration with energy recovery across Europe.
At a time when the EU is showing unprecedented environmental leadership, taking such a decision would weaken the EU’s environmental leadership, while showing the rest of the world that double standards are in fact acceptable. Furthermore, in a context where European plastic waste trade is increasing, with an alarming rise in  illegal plastic waste trade, the time is not for less control and monitoring. On the contrary, the EU has to step up, with clear regulations on this issue. A coalition of NGOs have already issued a set of recommendations to fix the current legislation. We would like to reiterate our demands once again.  A simple reference to the Council Decision (EU) 2019/638  - a decision adopted before the new Circular Economy Action Plan and its objective to create a “toxic-free environment” - is not enough.  Furthermore, article 11 of the Basel Convention only allows alternative agreements provided “they not derogate from the environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes as required by this Convention”. Allowing potentially hazardous plastic waste to be freely traded, not only for recycling but also for energy recovery, cannot be understood as a similar level of protection.  In a moment when the EU is showing bold environmental leadership for a circular economy, sending such contradictory messages would only have a negative effect. We therefore call on the EU not only to live up to the expectations it itself has created, but to continue to lead on these issues in the years to come.  Yours sincerely, [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.98" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_width_px="1086px" custom_margin="|||"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" header_font="||||||||" custom_margin="30px|||" custom_padding="|||"]Jim Puckett Executive Director Basel Action Network https://www.ban.org/ [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/basel.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="35%" module_alignment="left"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="40px|||"]Von Hernandez Global Coordinator Break Free From Plastic https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/ [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/bffp-logo.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="39%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="27px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98"]David Azoulay Geneva office Managing attorney Center for International Environmental Law www.ciel.org [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/unnamed.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="45%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="27px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="30px|||"]Jaka Kranjc Secretary General Društvo Ekologi brez meja https://ebm.si/en [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/logo.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="90%" module_alignment="center"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="27px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98"]Tim Grabiel Senior Lawyer Environmental Investigation Agency https://eia-international.org/ [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/pasted-image-0.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="63%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="27px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="30px|||"]Stéphane Arditi Policy Manager for Circular Economy, Products & Waste European Environmental Bureau https://eeb.org/ [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/EEB_logo_Final.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="49%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="27px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="30px|||"]Antoinette Vermilye Co-founder Gallifrey Foundation www.gallifrey.foundation [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/unnamed-2.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="48%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="27px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98"]Lena Steger Campaigner GLOBAL 2000 / Friends of the Earth Austria https://www.foeeurope.org/austria [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/unnamed-1.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="50%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="30px|||"]Sirine Rached Global Policy Advocate Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives https://www.no-burn.org/ [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/unnamed-4.png" _builder_version="3.0.98"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="27px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98"]Louise Edge Global Corporate Campaigner Greenpeace https://www.greenpeace.org/international/ [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Greenpeace-logo.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="60%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="27px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="70px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|phone" custom_margin_phone="0px|||"]Arianna Gamba Circular Healthcare Programme Manager Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe www.noharm-europe.org [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/HCWH-Europe-Colour-Logo.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="52%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="27px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="70px|||"]György Szabó Zero Waste Program Manager Humusz Szövetség https://humusz.hu/ [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/humusz-logo.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="54%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="60px|||"]Muriel Papin Déléguée Générale No Plastic In My Sea www.noplasticinmysea.org [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/no_plastic_in_my_sea.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="48%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="60px|||"]Merijn Tinga Director Plastic Soup Surfer PlasticSoupSurfer.org [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/IMG_2231.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="51%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="40px|||" header_font="||||||||"] Ana Gutiérrez Dewar Policy Officer Retorna http://www.retorna.org/ [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Retorna.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="51%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="27px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="70px|||"]Delphine Levi Alvares Coordinator The Rethink Plastic alliance https://rethinkplasticalliance.eu/ [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Rethink-Plastic-Logo-Square.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="51%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="80px|||"]Mindy O’Brien Coordinator VOICE of Irish Concern for the Environment www.voiceireland.org [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/voice-logo.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="49%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="80px|||"]Susana Fonseca Member of the Board ZERO - Association for the Sustainability of the Earth System www.zero.ong [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/zero-logo.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="54%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="100px|||"]Joan Marc Simon Executive Director Zero Waste Europe https://zerowasteeurope.eu/ [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/europe.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="53%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98"]Moïra Tourneur Advocacy Manager Zero Waste France https://www.zerowastefrance.org/ [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/zerowaste-logo-1.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="55%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0px|0px|0px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98"]Jim Keys Vice Chair Zero Waste North West http://derryair.eu/ [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/ZWNW_Act_local_Think_Global_100x100.jpg" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="70%" module_alignment="center"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" custom_padding="0px|0px|27px|0px"][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_margin="20px|||" custom_padding="|||"]Elena Raste President Zero Waste Romania @ZeroWasteRomania [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_image src="https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Screen-Shot-2020-10-13-at-00.08.42.png" _builder_version="3.0.98" max_width="52%"][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.0.47" parallax="off" parallax_method="on"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98"]

Rethink Plastic, part of the Break Free From Plastic movement, is an alliance of leading European NGOs working towards ambitious EU policies on plastics. It brings together the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), ClientEarth, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), European Environmental Bureau (EEB), European Environmental Citizen’s Organisation for Standardisation (ECOS), Greenpeace , Seas At Risk, Surfrider Foundation Europe, and Zero Waste Europe. Together they represent thousands of active groups, supporters and citizens in every EU Member State working towards a future free from plastic pollution. 

#BreakFreeFromPlastic is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in September 2016, nearly 1,900 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. In Europe alone, 90 core organizations are active in more than 30 countries. 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. Sign up at www.breakfreefromplastic.org



Environmental Health and Justice Groups Laud Removal of 7,408 Metric Tons of South Korean Garbage from Misamis Oriental

(Protecting the Philippines from illegal waste traffic knows no pandemic, assert groups)

  4 October 2020, Quezon City.  “Goodbye garbage from South Korea.” The EcoWaste Coalition and other environmental health and justice groups expressed jubilation with the final re-shipment of the remaining containers of illegal trash imports from South Korea amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As confirmed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC-Region 10) with the EcoWaste Coalition last Friday, the re-exportation of the remaining 43 containers of illegal waste shipments from South Korea (equivalent to 1,036 metric tons) took place on September 15.  The wastes were shipped back to Pyeongtaek City  from the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT Port) in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental onboard container ship BH MAHIA.  The much-awaited repatriation of the remaining wastes raised to 364 the total number of garbage-filled containers returned to South Korea in seven batches starting in January 2019 amounting to a whopping 7,408.46 metric tons. “We congratulate the Filipino people and government, particularly BOC-10, for successfully insisting on the responsibility of the exporter or the State of export, in accordance with the Basel Convention, to take back hazardous wastes or other wastes deemed to be illegal traffic. The completion of the re-exportation procedures shows that action against waste trafficking knows no pandemic,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition. “As we say goodbye and good riddance to these smuggled wastes, we say ‘bravo’ to the resolute fight waged by our customs and other government officials, together with the civil society, to overcome all the hurdles so as to secure our people’s dignity and well-being," she said. The EcoWaste Coalition also thanked the government of President Moon Jae-in for honoring its promise to have the illegally exported wastes repatriated as it urged South Korea to take decisive action to prevent the transfer of its waste to the Philippines, including ratifying the Basel Convention Ban Amendment, which forbids the export of hazardous wastes from developed to developing countries. Davao City-based Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) likewise welcomed the departure of the stranded  South Korean waste in Mindanao stressing that such success has underlined the important role of local government units (LGUs) in preventing the dumping of waste from overseas. “The persistence of the Tagoloan municipal government and the Misamis Oriental provincial government contributed a great deal to the concerted action by the public and private sectors to send back the illegal waste imports and to disallow their disposal locally.  It underscores the important role of LGUs in thwarting waste dumping schemes,” said Chinkie Peliño-Golle, Executive Director, IDIS. For his part, Dr. Joe DiGangi, Senior Science and Technical Adviser of the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) noted that “the return of illegally exported South Korean waste demonstrates that regulatory enforcement can and must continue during the pandemic.  Now the challenge for both the Philippines and South Korea is to ratify the Basel Convention Ban Amendment so that this sad history is not repeated."  The EcoWaste Coalition and IDIS are participating organizations of IPEN, a global movement for a toxics-free future. "Countries should protect themselves from the possibility of adding to their COVID-19 healthcare and plastic waste crisis by doing two things. In the short term, countries should move quickly to ratify the Basel Convention Ban Amendment. In the mid-term, countries should enact a ban on the importation of all wastes," DiGangi pointed out.  Environmental health and justice groups have strongly argued that ratifying the Basel Convention Ban Amendment and imposing a national ban on all waste imports, including electronic, plastic and other hazardous and toxic wastes, are essential to prevent the recurrence of waste dumping and trafficking incidents. To recall, Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation imported the illegal waste shipments falsely declared as “plastic synthetic flakes” from South Korea, which arrived at the ports in Villanueva and Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental in July and October 2018.  Among the waste materials found in the containerized and bulk shipments were unsorted plastic materials, used dextrose tubes, soiled diapers, discarded electronics and household garbage in violation of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal and national laws. Assessed by the authorities as “misdeclared, heterogenous and injurious to public health,” BOC-10 in 2018 then issued warrants of seizure and detention against the said illegal waste imports from South Korea. BOC-10 further issued a re-exportation order citing violations of DENR Administrative Order 2013-22, which states that “no importation of heterogenous and unsorted plastic materials shall be allowed,” and Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.   In August 2019, the EcoWaste Coalition wrote to President Moon Jae-in requesting his government "to immediately act on this pressing issue and not allow the controversy to drag on like what happened to the infamous garbage from Canada that finally left the Philippines after six long years."  -end- Reference: http://www.basel.int/  http://www.basel.int/Implementation/LegalMatters/BanAmendment/Overview/tabid/1484/Default.aspx   http://overseas.mofa.go.kr/ph-en/brd/m_20312/view.do?seq=14&srchFr=&srchTo=&srchWord=&srchTp=&multi_itm_seq=0&itm_seq_1=0&itm_seq_2=0&company_cd=&company_nm=&page=4  


Tribal Communities vow to break free from plastic

West Bengal, India --- World Tourism Day 2020 was celebrated with a lot of excitement in the state of West Bengal, India, as the national parks and tiger reserves are set to open and welcome the tourists for the first time since March 2020. To commemorate the occasion, the tribal communities from West Bengal held a 3-hour long event at the Buxa Tiger Reserve. Members from Rabha, Dukpa, Garo, Adivasi, and Nepali community put up a display of their rich culture and traditions. The visitors and the tourists were inspired and appreciative when they came to know about the central theme of the event: Break Free From Plastic. The call to protect and preserve our surrounding environment has grown louder in the last decade. The rapid destruction and over-exploitation of natural resources have posed serious threats to the health of the people and the environment, forcing people from all walks of life to come out in the streets and demand for the immediate address of the rampant ecological destruction.  Here in India, the story is not very different.  The rising population and lack of necessary infrastructure to manage the pollutants have been major concerns for the authorities and citizens. The concern magnifies when we find plastic pollution making its way into some of the most pristine ecosystems, which are ecologically sensitive and hold a great significance in maintaining the biodiversity of our planet. Plastic packets have been found in elephant dung here leading to the demand of immediate intervention from the authorities and tourism stakeholders in the matter.   Breaking free from plastic through tourism  On the occasion of World Tourism Day 2020, the tribal communities of Dooars from Eastern India gathered inside the Buxa Tiger Reserve to raise vital awareness highlighting the menace of plastic pollution for the land, water, and all forms of life those live and thrive here. The event was jointly organised by ADTA (Alipurduar District Tourism Association) and Yugantar Pariwar, a non-profit working towards the empowerment of tribal communities in association with different tourism stakeholders of the region. Mr. Manav Bakshi, chairman of ADTA said that the call to break free from plastic is a landmark initiative and will pave way for eco-tourism in the north Bengal region of India. The communities, in their own unique way, through dances and songs, called for the corporations to opt for eco-friendly packaging of their products. Nature-based solutions to bags, packaging, and other aspects of daily lives are integral to the lifestyle of the tribal communities. The use of bamboo, different fibers, jute, and bio-degradable natural resources in their daily lives has helped the communities live with zero or minimum carbon footprint for centuries. Hence, their call to corporations to ‘break free from plastic’ and opt for cleaner, affordable and eco-friendly design of the products seems feasible and significant in present times.   A more sustainable better normal after the pandemic  The ongoing pandemic has forced the national parks and tiger reserves to shut down their gates for the tourists and with the lockdown getting eased in different parts of the country, tourism is set to restart, increasing the flow of tourists into these ecologically sensitive areas. From past experience, the locals have learned and realized that plastic pollution is bad for the environment and as well as for the tourism business, as it ruins the aesthetics, which is the prime catalyst of tourism.  The event focused on two primary aspects - 

  1. Breaking free from plastic.
  2. Reintroducing traditional alternatives to plastic goods.
The folk-dances, songs, and cuisines served in the event was a testament that the people living in the vicinity of forests and such natural wonders are better equipped to run the tourism industry with their traditional crafts and amenities and involves minimum or no use of plastic at all.  Everyone present in the event signed a banner "Break Free From Plastic" committing to refuse the use of single-use plastic in their homestays, resorts, and guided tours inside the tiger reserve. Mr. Ramkumar Lama, president of Yugantar Pariwar laid importance on the role of tribal communities towards nature conservation and the need to recognize their contribution in the field. The communities also highlighted the increasing plastic packaging, mainly beverages, chips, and biscuits, found in the rivers and forest areas inside the national parks. A campaign to make the adjoining Jaldapara National park a "Plastic Free National Park"  is already underway, with regular clean-ups and awareness programs being undertaken in the adjoining forest and fringe villages. The forest department has been closely supporting this grassroots level initiative to protect and preserve the environment here. At the end of the event, the chief guest of the event, Mr. Durga Chamling, writer and a social activist of the region made a collective call to refuse and reduce plastic packeted products while the tourism business opens once again. We are working towards attracting investments in jute, bamboo, and other traditional products that will shape and redirect the tourism business here towards a sustainable model.   Rajib Kharel Sharma is a campaigner for Plastic Free National Park in Yugantar Pariwar West Bengal, India. Plastic Free National Park is a BFFP member.   


Plastic Industry Must Take Responsibility for Their Packaging Waste Instead of Blaming Consumers

Indian government must enforce stringent Extended Producer responsibility (EPR) rules to ensure that plastic producers and brand owners take back their plastic waste instead of shifting the blame to the consumers and costs to the local authorities. The call was made by speakers at the India launch of ‘Talking Trash: The corporate playbook
 of false solutions to the plastic crisis’ a new report from  The Changing Markets Foundation that reveals how behind a veil of nice-sounding initiatives and commitments to address the plastics crisis – the plastics industry, consumer brands, and retailers have obstructed and undermined proven legislative solutions to the crisis for decades. The report reveals how plastic producers and brand owners like Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Mars Incorporated, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Perfetti Van Melle, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever who have a joint plastic footprint of almost 10 million tonnes per year, lobby at every level to fight against proven solutions to solve the plastics crisis which would require them to fully step up their responsibility and take on the true costs of plastic pollution. Instead, they use distraction tactics, which are designed to make people think real change is happening or that responsibility for the problem lies elsewhere. Nusa Urbancic, Campaigns Director at the Changing Markets Foundation, said: “This report exposes the two-faced hypocrisy of plastic polluters, which claim to be committed to solutions, but at the same time use a host of dirty tricks to ensure that they can continue pumping out cheap, disposable plastic, polluting the planet at a devastating rate.  Real solutions, such  as mandatory collection of packaging, policies to increase reuse and phase  out certain  problematic plastic types or products, rarely feature  in the voluntary approach and are fiercely fought against if proposed by policy-makers.” Plastic is pouring  out  into the natural world at a rate of 8 million tonnes a year, or one garbage truck per minute, and production  has skyrocketed with half of all plastics ever made having been produced since 2005. Production is expected to double again in the next 10–15 years. Mr. P.D. Rai,  former Member of Parliament  from Sikkim said: “In the Himalayas, the plastic crisis is all-pervading despite the best efforts of the state governments and local Panchayats to ban all plastics. Extended Producer Responsibility, by which companies take back their packaging is the ultimate solution but there must be disincentives and penalties to successfully enforce such laws.” Ms. Priyadarshinee Shreshta, Joint Secretary of Integrated Mountain Initiative said: “The existing and proposed waste management rules are  one size fits all, they do not recognise the fragility of mountains or the ecosystem services they provide. We urgently need to change the narrative from consumer behaviour to producer responsibility. Efforts taken by the corporations to reach their problematic products to remote corners should be matched by efforts to take them back or not make it at all.” Shibu K N, India Coordinator of GAIA-Asia Pacific, said: “In India, the proposed Uniform Framework for Extended Producer Responsibility (under Plastic waste management rules, 2016) have been formulated with inputs from industry associations to protect their business interests and profits, there was no consultation whatsoever either from State governments or local governments. It  is unfortunate to see there is no concrete measures to reduce the use of plastics or safe recovery of plastics.” Talking Trash report has shown that voluntary initiatives and commitments by the industry rarely work and are in fact used across the world to undermine legislation. For this reason, policymakers should adopt progressive legislation, built on the following key elements:

1. The Plastic Waste Rules 2016 has clear and time bound commitments on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) which have still not been met despite the lapse of the prescribed deadlines and directions by the National Green Tribunal. The government needs to ensure that producers/brand owners meet their obligations under the rules at the earliest.

2. Develop a binding national packaging policy with timelines and targets. 

3. Pass legislations aimed at phasing out of harmful chemicals used in packaging plastics such as BFRs, BPAs, Phthalates, Lead, etc.

4. Reverse the 2018 amendment to the plastic waste management rules and reintroduce the 2-year phase out deadline on multi-layered plastics.

5. Add EPR cess to plastic packaged products to  promote  non plastic alternatives and reduce  tax tariff for plastic products maintaining stipulated percentage of recycled content. 

6. The 2018 amendment to the plastic waste rules is a regressive  step  as it promotes false solutions such as mass incineration cement kiln co-incineration and plastic roads in  the guise of recycling.  The  government should remove these practices from the scope of recycling.

7. Implement minimum recycled-content targets in the production of packaging and containers of at least 50%f for beverage containers and at  least 30% for other items, as a starting point. This creates a market for effective plastic recycling and maintains plastic in a closed loop without downcycling the material.

8. Central or state governments should consider a tax on virgin plastic, which ensures the use of plastic is incentivized over virgin plastic. This should be accompanied with a clear position on the use of alternative materials, such as bio-based biodegradable and compostable plastic, with justifications for what is – and what is not – a good use of these materials.

9. Introduce bans on unnecessary or harmful materials, such as PVC and polystyrene.

10. Prioritise reusable alternatives and act to avoid regrettable substitutions – for example, replacing single-use plastic with other single-use materials, such as bio-based, biodegradable or compostable plastic – which do not fix pollution problems and may also lead to other environmental problems. 

11. Indian urban local bodies should support the Zero Waste Cities approach by creating and implementing systems that continuously intend to phase out waste – not by incinerating, landfilling or exporting it, but instead by not generating waste in the first place.

12. India could spearhead the establishment of an intergovernmental negotiating committee at the United Nations Environment Assembly to negotiate a dedicated global agreement – a Convention on Plastic Pollution – that eliminates plastic discharges into the environment while also promoting a safe circular economy for plastics; one that addresses the full life cycle of plastics, from production and design to prevention and waste management.

  Download the full report through these links: https://talking-trash.com or https://changingmarkets.org/portfolio/talking-trash/ Download the India Case Study at: https://talking-trash.com/case-study/india/ An addendum has been added to the report, focusing on Indian policy scenario and the strategies corporations have used on a central and state level to delay and derail progressive legislation on plastics. View the addendum here.


Waste-to-Energy Incineration bad decision for PH, experts and scientists warn

Experts and scientists warned that the country will be heading to a more catastrophic situation if waste incineration is legalized. In an online forum organized by Green Thumb Coalition, No Burn Pilipinas and Break Free From Plastic Philippines on Tuesday, local and foreign experts-scientists laid down the causal effects of waste incineration on health, climate and agriculture.  Dr. Jorge Emmanuel, who co-authored the World Health Organization’s guidebook on health care waste, said that the problem with trash burning is that it releases dioxins and furans however advance the technology and there are no safe limits when we are dealing with these toxic and hazardous pollutants. Dr. Jorge Emmanuel is also an adjunct professor in Silliman University and former chief technical advisor on global environment projects of the United Nations Development Program and leader of a UN team that helped contain the spread of Ebola virus in Africa. In his presentation, Dr. Emmanuel pointed out that a single drop of dioxin is enough to contaminate a medium sized lake and its inhabitants. Over a long period, this toxin could be passed on to humans by eating fish, eggs, pork, poultry and other meats that have accumulated dioxins. “Dioxins stay in our environment for hundreds of years and cause serious illnesses including cancer, birth defects and reproductive disorders among people exposed to it,” he said. Waste incineration is also a major carbon emitter. Lee Bell, POPs and Mercury Policy Advisor for the International Pollution Elimination Network (IPEN) highlighted a recent study by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), which shows incineration of plastic waste generates large quantities of carbon and carbon equivalent (CO2e) emissions. Waste incinerators, driven by high carbon content plastics and organic waste streams, currently release an average of around 1 ton of CO2 for every ton of waste incinerated.  “368 million tons of waste are incinerated globally per year equating to annual emissions of around 368 million tons of CO2. That’s a huge amount of greenhouse gases added annually into our atmosphere,” Bell said during his presentation. As the climate crisis continues to worsen, access to food by Filipinos especially the poor and vulnerable sectors will be severely affected as well. This chain of reaction from incineration to health and climate and then onto our food production systems will reduce harvests, affect the quality of agricultural produce and increase its costs by as high as 25% in the next two decades according to Dr. Vicky Espaldon, a professor at the UP School of Environmental Science and Management and an awardee of the National Academy of Science and Technology for a book she has written.“An increase of 1˚C leads to about 8-14% decrease in rice yield during the dry season,” Dr. Espaldon said citing the study conducted by Lansigan et al., in 2007. “Tread carefully as impacts are serious and it [WTE] is a huge investment, it is better to invest in making sure that RA 9003 provisions are successfully implemented,” she added. As the forum drew to a close, Green Thumb Coalition convenor Jaybee Garganera vowed to echo these scientific evidences to legislators who are currently deliberating the passage of a bill that would allow waste incineration in the country. “The science and robustness of evidence we have gathered will complement our collective experiences on the ground to engage our senators like Gatchalian, Tolentino and Binay and make them understand the profound negative economic and health impacts of their policy actions such as the waste-to-energy law,” Garganera said.   To view the recording of the forum, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/GTCNBP    For more information, please contact: Angelica Dacanay, Green Thumb Coalition,0915-7828118 Geri Matthew Carretero, No Burn Pilipinas/BFFP PH, 0917-6216901 Jaybee Garganera, Green Thumb Coalition, 0917-5498218   ____________________________________________________________________________ About No Burn Pilipinas (NBP) – No Burn Pilipinas is an alliance of environmental, justice, climate, rights and health groups who are opposed to waste incineration, including thermal waste-to-energy, and are working to promote the Zero Waste approach to resource management. www.facebook.com/noburnpilipinas About Green Thumb CoalitionGreen Thumb Coalition is the broadest network of civil society organizations in the Philippines working on cross cutting issues that threaten our biodiversity, climate, energy, food sovereignty and human rights. Its mission is to promote environmental consciousness among the electorate and make environmental issues central to every public policy and programs.  About BFFP Philippines Project– The #breakfreefromplastic Philippines project is a collaboration of #breakfreefromplastic members EcoWaste Coalition, GAIA Asia Pacific, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Health Care Without Harm Southeast Asia and Mother Earth Foundation working towards a future free from plastic pollution.   About the speakers: Dr. Jorge Emmanuel earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1976 and 1978, respectively. He obtained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering from University of Michigan in 1988. Certified in Public Health by the University of Iowa in 2006, he was also certified in Hazardous Materials/Environmental Hazards Management by the University of California, Berkeley in 1993 and a registered professional engineer by the State of California. Dr. Emmanuel is also a healthcare waste management expert. He co-authored the World Health Organization’s guidebook on healthcare waste. He led a United Nations Development Program Team sent to Africa to help stop the spread of Ebola virus by advising governments, training healthcare staff on infection control and installing waste treatment autoclaves. Lee Bell is the Mercury and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Policy Advisor for the International Pollution Elimination Network (IPEN) and Senior Researcher for National Toxics Network (Australia) and has twenty years of experience in research and analysis of industrial pollution, hazardous waste, incineration, contaminated sites and associated issues. He has authored a range of reports and articles on the trade and impact of mercury, POPs and other pollutants on the environment and human health. He is currently a member of the Basel Convention Small Intersessional Working Group on POPs waste which evaluates incineration and non-combustion technologies for POPs destruction, Small Intersessional Working Group on D10 Guidance Review (incineration) and the Stockholm Convention BAT BEP and Dioxin Toolkit Expert Group. Dr. Maria Victoria Espaldon is the former UPLB Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension. A UP Scientist III and former DEAN of SESAM, Dr. Espaldon has a total of 58 publications, she is author and co-author of several articles in ISI and refereed journals as well as books and monographs. Her book titled “Changing Philippine Climate: Impacts on Agriculture and Natural Resources” received a National Academy of Science and Technology award. She was also named as UPLB Outstanding Researcher for Social Sciences in the senior faculty category in 2016. Currently, Dr. Espaldon is the program leader of the projects “Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines (SARAI)”and the “Monitoring and Detection of Ecosystem Change for Enhanced Resilience and Adaptation (MORDECERA)”.


Can Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) Rise to the Challenge?

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" _builder_version="3.0.47" custom_padding="54px|0px|0px|0px" da_is_popup="off" da_exit_intent="off" da_has_close="on" da_alt_close="off" da_dark_close="off" da_not_modal="on" da_is_singular="off" da_with_loader="off" da_has_shadow="on" da_disable_devices="off|off|off"][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.47" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98" background_layout="light"] As consumers become increasingly eco-aware, so too are businesses and governments looking to determine what the best environmental outcomes are. For many years, the de facto tool for decision-making support has been to conduct a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA is a methodology for assessing environmental impacts associated with all the stages of the life-cycle of products, processes, or services. It can be used to create benchmarks in order to set targets for impact reduction or as a tool for comparative decision making. However, the method is increasingly coming under fire as the purveyor of less than sound or counterintuitive conclusions that might favour continued industrialization rather than a move towards a more harmonious relationship with the planet. The reasons for this and ideas for how LCAs can be rectified are discussed in our new report for Break Free From Plastic (BFFP). The following is a summary of key findings: 

◾ Firstly, it’s important to recognise that LCA is merely a tool, and like many tools can be wielded inefficiently or incorrectly. It is used to answer a question and therefore the context and nature of the question will determine the answer. Whenever anyone asks me, “what is better, X or Y?” the answer is always “it depends”. It depends upon a whole series of assumptions as we attempt to create a simplified model of reality that can be used to answer that question, but is it also important to determine whether the question itself is the ‘right’ one in the first place. Why do we want a comparison between X and Y? what about Z? What if we changed the whole system so that X, Y and Z did not need to exist? What if the question were not which material is ‘better’ or is single-use better than reusable, but how can we design reusable systems that have the least environmental impact? A key aspect of this is design i.e. not looking at static systems, but understanding the design parameters we can change to optimise the environmental performance of the product or system.

◾ Businesses will almost always look to answer the narrower and more limiting questions and therefore receive answers in that similar vein—these answers can also be used to promote their products and the system they have created as the only ‘truth’. Making bigger decisions at a national or supranational level requires a broader perspective that can often be lacking. It is only by going back and questioning our fundamental assumptions that we can get to an objective truth.

◾  There is also the problem of communication when the results of an LCA study find their way into news headlines. This is similar to how we might often read about the results of a scientific study that has just been published in a journal. Often the studies are aimed at specialist audiences and therefore can often be misinterpreted by non-specialists. They are also not viewed in the context of the body of work that already exists; just like we don’t usually assume one scientific paper will change our world view of science on its own, so the findings of one LCA study should not override all existing work in order to grab headlines. Having a good understanding of the context in which the study sits and the importance of any accompanying assumptions is critical to interpreting it. And just like studies that might appear that say eating certain foods might increase health risks there are also ones that say the opposite and this can be true with LCA. These studies are generally not meant for public consumption or to influence individual behaviours (should I stop drinking coffee or should I buy that reusable bag or not?), but to aid in the wider discussion.

These issues are nothing new to LCA practitioners, but they are not insurmountable. For example, practitioners themselves can be more cautious around only presenting their strongest and defensible results. They can attempt to understand the policy context in which their study sits and advise their clients accordingly. For the study commissioners themselves, it is important to aim to be as open and transparent as possible and be mindful of making claims beyond that which the study is valid for.  Finally, for those reading these studies, recognising that the results are only as good as the question is a good start; questioning the very premise of the study can provide a new perspective. Realising that there are no absolute answers is also helpful, and just like any scientific paper, if we are to take the results seriously, looking for an independent peer review can give some security that an expert has already undertaken at least some due diligence on your behalf.   Read “Plastics: Can Life Cycle Assessment Rise to the Challenge? (How to critically assess LCA for policy making)” here: [/et_pb_text][et_pb_button button_url="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jEJ31gfGE-0iErVpELbUl7FilwZ4Ng7h/view?usp=sharing" button_text="Read the full report" button_alignment="center" _builder_version="3.0.98" custom_button="on" button_font="||||||||" button_text_color="#ffffff"]   [/et_pb_button][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.98"] About the Author: Simon Hann specialises in applying Life Cycle Thinking wherever a full understanding of how a product or process affects its environment may be needed, and is a Principal Consultant and LCA Specialist for Eunomia Research & Consulting, Ltd. His work looks into how diverse activities can contribute to our evolution into a society that embraces a Circular Economy. Much of Simon’s work is linked to how we can make this transition by keeping materials and resources within our technosphere. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]