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BRS and Minamata convention secretariats release “Key Insights” from joint study linking chemicals and waste and biodiversity

As the world marks International Biodiversity Day on 22 May, read the joint BRS/Minamata Press Release and find out more about this ground-breaking study.

BRS and Minamata convention secretariats release “Key Insights” from joint study linking chemicals and waste and biodiversity

BRS and Minamata convention secretariats release “Key Insights” from joint study linking chemicals and waste and biodiversity
 
The UN International Day of Biodiversity marked as BRS participates in the second Global Biodiversity Festival

Join Rolph Payet and 150 other eminent speakers at the online Global BioFest, 20 to 23 May 2021.

The UN International Day of Biodiversity marked as BRS participates in the second Global Biodiversity Festival

The UN International Day of Biodiversity marked as BRS participates in the second Global Biodiversity Festival
 
Online regional preparations for the online segment of the 2021 COPs begin with the African and Eastern European meetings

With thanks to Norway and Switzerland for funding support, African and Eastern European countries come together online in May, to prepare for the online segment of the 2021 COPs.

Online regional preparations for the online segment of the 2021 COPs begin with the African and Eastern European meetings

Online regional preparations for the online segment of the 2021 COPs begin with the African and Eastern European meetings
 
Outcomes of the resumed session of the Joint Bureaux meeting are now online

The report of the resumed session of the joint meeting of the COPs Bureaux, held online on 26 February 2021, is now available online.

Outcomes of the resumed session of the Joint Bureaux meeting are now online

Outcomes of the resumed session of the Joint Bureaux meeting are now online
 
Funding available for projects on the sound management of chemicals and waste

The UNEP Special Programme, open until August 2021, supports governments to implement the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm conventions.

Funding available for projects on the sound management of chemicals and waste

Funding available for projects on the sound management of chemicals and waste
 
The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership and the BRS Secretariat launch a new wave of practical pilot projects on better managing plastic waste

The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BRS) are moving forward with the roll-out of over 50 pilot projects across the world. The initiative fosters the introduction of practical innovations to policymaking in the form of changes to business-as-usual prompted by the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments, which became effective on 1 January this year.

The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership and the BRS Secretariat launch a new wave of practical pilot projects on better managing plastic waste

The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership and the BRS Secretariat launch a new wave of practical pilot projects on better managing plastic waste

Geneva, 6th April 2021: The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership and the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions (BRS) are moving forward with the roll-out of over 50 pilot projects across the world. The initiative fosters the introduction of practical innovations to policymaking in the form of changes to business-as-usual prompted by the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments, which became effective on 1 January this year.

The urgency for tackling plastic waste pollution was noted at the recent UN Environment Assembly, held in Nairobi and online. “Tackling chemical pollution and waste is a critical journey in finding solutions for climate change and biodiversity,” noted BRS Executive Secretary Rolph Payet during the Leadership Dialogues of the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5). Payet went on to urge governments and the international community to ensure that “building back better” after the COVID-19 pandemic does not revert to “building back the same”.

Many projects are kicked off through the framework of the Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership, a new platform comprising more than a hundred actors from governments, private sector and civil society organisations collectively seeking solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. Yet more pilots are funded through the Convention’s Small Grants Programme, developed to build local capacities in addressing plastic waste through the implementation of the Basel Convention.

Overall, the projects focus on the environmentally sound management of plastic waste, the prevention and minimization of the generation of plastic waste, and the control of transboundary movements of plastic waste. They represent an excellent vehicle to usher in practical considerations brought on by the implementation of the Plastic Waste Amendments, accelerating efforts to ensure waste plastics are only traded with countries that have the necessary infrastructure to allow for the environmentally sound management of plastic waste.

The BRS Secretariat is grateful to the governments of France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland, together with the Norwegian Agency for Development (Norad) and the Norwegian Retailer’s Environment Fund, for providing financial resources to enable these projects to be rolled out across the world.

The Plastic Waste Partnership co-Chairs Ole Thomas Thommesen (Norway) and Ross Bartley (Bureau of International Recycling) expressed their confidence that “this initial number of pilot projects will go a long way in generating practical solutions and knowledge-sharing, and ultimately support countries to become more self-sufficient when it comes to managing plastic waste locally.”

NOTES for EDITORS:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most comprehensive international environment treaty on hazardous and other wastes and is almost universal, with 188 Parties. With an overarching objective of protecting human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes, its scope covers a wide range of wastes defined as hazardous based on their origin and/or composition and characteristics, as well as three types of waste defined as “other wastes”, namely household waste, residues arising from the incineration of household wastes ash and certain plastic wastes requiring special consideration. For more info see www.basel.int

The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership (PWP) currently has more than 100 members from government, civil society and the private sector, and four project groups through which pilot projects and other activities, including public awareness and outreach, are implemented. For more on the PWP see: http://www.basel.int/tabid/8096  

The Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, or BRS Secretariat, supports Parties implement the three leading multilateral environment agreements governing chemicals and waste management, in order to protect human health and the environment. See www.brsmeas.org for more information and follow the @brsmeas twitter feed for daily news.

Contacts

For technical questions on plastic waste, contact:
Kei Ohno Woodall, Programme Officer, BRS Secretariat, Kei.ohno@un.org Tel: +41-79-2333218

For Plastic Waste Partnership enquiries, contact:
Susan Wingfield and Melisa Lim, Programme Officer, BRS Secretariat, susan.wingfield@un.org and melisa.lim@un.org

For enquiries related to the Plastic Waste Amendments, contact:
Melisa Lim and Yvonne Ewang, melisa.lim@un.org and Yvonne.ewang@un.org

For media enquiries, interviews, & more information, contact:
Charlie Avis: Public Information Officer, BRS Secretariat, Charles.avis@un.org Tel: +41-79-7304495

Cuba updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Addressing amendments made at COP-8, Cuba has transmitted its updated National Implementation Plan, or NIP.

Cuba updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Cuba updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
Have your say in the first ever global survey on waste in mountainous regions

Information sought to guide activities on tackling waste in mountain regions, organised by GRID Arendal, together with UNEP & BRS.

Have your say in the first ever global survey on waste in mountainous regions

Have your say in the first ever global survey on waste in mountainous regions
 
On International Women’s Day, and everyday, BRS salutes women around the world working for the sound management of chemicals and waste

Read our Gender Heroes series for inspiring stories of women’s leadership on implementing at local levels the global agreements for a healthy planet.

On International Women’s Day, and everyday, BRS salutes women around the world working for the sound management of chemicals and waste

On International Women’s Day, and everyday, BRS salutes women around the world working for the sound management of chemicals and waste
 
BRS COP Bureaux agree on a way forward for the organization of the 2021 Triple COPs

The BRS COP Bureaux have agreed at their resumed joint meeting on 26 February 2021 to hold the Basel Convention’s COP-15, the Rotterdam Convention’s COP-10 and the Stockholm Convention’s COP-10, back-to-back in two segments: an online segment in 2021 and a face-to-face segment in 2022.

BRS COP Bureaux agree on a way forward for the organization of the 2021 Triple COPs

BRS COP Bureaux agree on a way forward for the organization of the 2021 Triple COPs
 
Stockholm Convention implementation priorities highlighted by The GEF’s guest blog

Read the new Global Environment Facility “Guest Blog” by BRS Executive Secretary, Rolph Payet, for news of upcoming priorities for implementing global agreements for a healthy planet.

Stockholm Convention implementation priorities highlighted by The GEF’s guest blog

Stockholm Convention implementation priorities highlighted by The GEF’s guest blog
 
BRS Executive Secretary addresses the Leadership Dialogue at the 5th UN Environment Assembly, 22-23 February 2021

Watch Rolph Payet’s video address, which focusses on the environmental dimension for building a resilient and inclusive post-pandemic world.

BRS Executive Secretary addresses the Leadership Dialogue at the 5th UN Environment Assembly, 22-23 February 2021

BRS Executive Secretary addresses the Leadership Dialogue at the 5th UN Environment Assembly, 22-23 February 2021
 
BRS hosts plastic waste Side Event at the 5th UN Environment Assembly, 18 February 2021

Register now for the “Tackling plastic waste through the Basel Convention” UNEA-5 Side Event, kicking off at 1330 Geneva time on Thursday 18 February.

BRS hosts plastic waste Side Event at the 5th UN Environment Assembly, 18 February 2021

BRS hosts plastic waste Side Event at the 5th UN Environment Assembly, 18 February 2021
 
Join the upcoming BRS webinars, which cover many key aspects of the three conventions’ implementation

Webinars cover the Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Partnership, Small Grants Projects, & Strategic Framework Final Evaluation Report; the Rotterdam Convention’s export notification system; & outcomes from the Stockholm Convention’s POPRC-16 meeting.

Join the upcoming BRS webinars, which cover many key aspects of the three conventions’ implementation

Join the upcoming BRS webinars, which cover many key aspects of the three conventions’ implementation
 
Plastic waste pilot projects kicking off across the globe

Thanks to funding support from the Norwegian development agency Norad, BRS regional centres are implementing practical projects on the environmentally sound management of plastic waste.

Plastic waste pilot projects kicking off across the globe

Plastic waste pilot projects kicking off across the globe
 
Outcomes of the sixteenth meeting of the POPs Review Committee

The online briefings will provide an overview of the outcomes of the sixteenth meeting of the Stockholm Convention POPs Review Committee (POPRC)), held online, on 11-16 January 2021.

Outcomes of the sixteenth meeting of the POPs Review Committee

Outcomes of the sixteenth meeting of the POPs Review Committee
 
Funding opportunities for pilot projects on the environmentally sound management of E-waste

The Basel Convention’s Follow-up Partnership to PACE invites project proposals promoting sound alternatives to open-pit burning of e-waste and harmful recycling operations, with a deadline of 20 February 2021.

Funding opportunities for pilot projects on the environmentally sound management of E-waste

Funding opportunities for pilot projects on the environmentally sound management of E-waste
 
Myanmar submits its first national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

To better protect human health and the environment, Myanmar has submitted its first NIP, covering amendments made at COP4, COP5 & COP6.

Myanmar submits its first national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Myanmar submits its first national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
Six months countdown to the BRS 2021 COPs starts today

This days also marks the communication of 3 proposals to amend the Basel Convention in addition to the proposals to amend Annexes A, B, and/or C of the Stockholm Convention and to amend Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention communicated on 15 December 2020.

Six months countdown to the BRS 2021 COPs starts today

Six months countdown to the BRS 2021 COPs starts today
 
Big Year for chemicals & waste continues as UN experts take steps to recommend eliminating UV-328

Read the BRS Press Release summarising the outcomes of the 16th meeting of the Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee, 11-16 January 2021.

Big Year for chemicals & waste continues as UN experts take steps to recommend eliminating UV-328

Big Year for chemicals & waste continues as UN experts take steps to recommend eliminating UV-328

Geneva, Switzerland: 16 January 2021 - Just two weeks after the landmark Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Amendments became effective for 186 states, almost 200 UN scientific experts and observers from around the world met online this week to review the scientific case for listing UV-328, a toxic chemical additive typically found in certain specific types of plastics, in Annex A to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

UV-328 is a ubiquitous high-volume additive typically used as an ultra-violet (UV) stabiliser in plastic products such as some personal care products, rubber and coatings. UV-328 is found in the environment and biota, including in remote areas such as the Arctic and the Pacific Ocean, far from its production and use. UV-328 has been found to be transported with, and may subsequently be released from plastic debris, which is taken up for example by seabirds with subsequent accumulation in their tissue, and microplastics. In humans, UV-328 has been detected in breast milk.  It is also the first non-halogenated chemical considered by the Stockholm Convention scientific subsidiary body, the POPs Review Committee. Possible eventual listing in Annex A, B and/or C at a future meeting of the Conference of Parties of the Stockholm Convention would then trigger its reduction or elimination.

The 16th Meeting of the POPs Review Committee, held online from 11 to 16 January 2021, concluded that UV-328 satisfies all criteria set out in Annex D to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)1, namely persistence, bioaccumulation, potential for long-range environmental transport and adverse effects to humans and/or the environment. UV-328 now goes forward to the next stage of the review by the Committee. After rigorous scientific review and socio-economic considerations, a future meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Stockholm Convention will take into account the recommendations of the Committee, and may decide to list it, leading to actions towards its elimination or reduction from production and use, as well as the destruction of existing stocks and management of POPs wastes. Given UV-328’s proliferation in plastic products, such a listing would strengthen the Stockholm Convention’s role as a key, additional, instrument for governments across the globe to tackle the growing plastic waste crisis.

Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Stockholm Convention, said that “The evaluation by POPRC of UV-328, a plastic chemical additive with long-term ecological and health effects, boosts the important work we have begun to address the toxic components present in many types of plastics. The synergies between the Basel and Stockholm Conventions provide the global legal and scientific framework, as well as a platform of opportunity for countries to continue to critically address the global plastics crisis.”

The Committee also considered other chemicals and adopted the risk profile for Methoxychlor, a pesticide used as a replacement for DDT, and decided that it is likely, as a result of its long-range environmental transport, to lead to significant adverse human health and environmental effects such that global action is warranted. An intersessional working group will continue the work by preparing a draft risk management evaluation that includes an analysis of possible control measures for Methoxychlor. 

The Committee also considered Dechlorane Plus, a flame retardant that has been in use since the 1960s, deciding  – following extensive discussions – that while information on persistence, bioaccumulation and the potential for long-range environmental transport was conclusive, the information on adverse effects was deemed insufficient to support a decision on the risk profile at this moment. Information and scientific research on adverse effects of Dechlorane Plus on human health and the environment is therefore urgently needed – before September 2021 – for the Committee to be able to further evaluate potential adverse effects and recommend if global action on this chemical is warranted.

POPRC last year recommended Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts, and PFHxS-related compounds be listed in Annex A to the Convention, which will be considered at the next meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Stockholm Convention (COP) to be held in July 2021. PFHxS is a group of industrial chemicals used widely in a number of consumer goods as a surfactant and sealant including in carpets, leather, clothing, textiles, fire-fighting foams, papermaking, printing inks and non-stick cookware. PFHxS is known to be harmful to human health including the nervous system, brain development, endocrine system and thyroid hormone.

To date, 30 POPs, which covers thousands of related chemicals, are listed in the Annexes A, B and C to the legally binding Stockholm Convention. The Convention, which entered into force in 2004 has 184 Parties, and benefits from almost universal coverage across the globe.

Notes for Editors:

UV-328

UV-328 is a substituted phenolic benzotriazole (BZT) used as a UV absorber in many products. BZTs absorb the full spectrum of UV light and are mostly used in transparent plastics, coatings, and personal care products (PCPs). UV-328 in particular can be used in many types of plastic polymer matrices, typically in concentrations between 0.1 and 0.5% of mass. UV-328 is used as a printing ink additive in food contact materials, too. Because it is not bound to the polymer, UV-328 can migrate from within the polymer matrix and eventually diffuse out of the matrix and enter the environment.

PFHxS

PFHxS, its salts and related compounds have unique properties with a high resistance to friction, heat, chemical agents, low surface energy and are used as a water, grease, oil and soil repellent. It is widely utilized in a variety of consumer goods such as carpets, leather, apparel, textiles, firefighting foam, papermaking, printing inks, sealants, and non-stick cookware. PFHxS concentrations are found in biota and humans alike and its elimination takes approximately 8 years. Effects of PFHxS in humans are found to influence the nervous system, brain development, endocrine system and thyroid hormone. For more on PFHxS see: http://chm.pops.int/tabid/243/

POPs and the Stockholm Convention

Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) can lead to serious adverse health effects including certain cancers, birth defects, dysfunctional immune and reproductive systems, greater susceptibility to disease and damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems. Given that these chemicals can be transported over long distances, no one government acting alone can protect its citizens or its environment from POPs. The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004, is a global treaty requiring its Parties to take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment, to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have harmful impacts on human health or on the environment.

For more information on the Stockholm Convention, POPs, and POPRC: www.pops.int

For more info:

Technical contact: Kei Woodall Ohno, BRS Secretariat; email: kei.ohno-woodall@brsmeas.org tel: +41-22-9178201

Press contact: Charlie Avis, BRS Secretariat email: Charles.avis@brsmeas.org tel: +41-79-7304495



[1] That it is toxic to both humans and wildlife, persists over long periods in the environment, accumulates in organisms, and that when released can be transported over long distances by air or water, in this case as an additive to plastic waste which ends up as marine plastic litter.

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