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Governments, industry, civil society and UN join forces to beat plastic waste pollution

The first meeting of the Basel Convention’s new Plastic Waste Partnership concluded successfully in Seychelles, 5 March 2020. Read the outcomes summarised in the BRS Press Release.

Governments, industry, civil society and UN join forces to beat plastic waste pollution

Governments, industry, civil society and UN join forces to beat plastic waste pollution

Geneva, 5 March 2020 - With an estimated 100 million tonnes of plastic waste in the oceans, 80-90% of which comes from land-based sources[1], a new Plastic Waste Partnership, established by the Basel Convention, has met for the first time to discuss ways to prevent, minimise, and soundly manage, plastic waste from across the world.

The meeting, convened by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions (BRS) and hosted by the Seychelles Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, gathered more than 100 representatives from members of the Partnership, in Seychelles from 2 to 5 March 2020.

At the opening of the meeting, Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn, called the Partnership “a unique opportunity to kick-start the efforts to better deal with the environmental challenges of plastic waste.” Mr. Didier Dogley, Seychelles Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine then said that “in 2018, on World Environment Day, the world was called to beat plastic pollution. We were then reminded that our world is drowning in plastic pollution. I wish to commend the Basel Convention for initiating this Plastic Waste Partnership; I feel comforted to see that there is a real commitment by the world community towards fighting this plastic curse at the global level.”

The BRS Executive Secretary, Mr. Rolph Payet, announced a new project on plastic waste funded by the Norwegian Development Agency, Norad, to help build capacities for managing plastic waste in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. He described how this 6.9 million USD project will help operationalize the Plastic Waste Amendment adopted in May 2019 by 187 Parties to better incorporate plastic wastes of most concern into the legally-binding framework of the Basel Convention. The new project supports many activities of Convention’s work programme, for instance a Small Grants Programme which will channel funds to the grassroots level in priority regions.

The meeting outcomes included agreement on the activities the Partnership working group will tackle as a first step.  This includes activities on prevention and minimization of plastic waste, facilitating its proper collection and recycling, preparations for entry into force of the Plastic Waste Amendment and plans for outreach and awareness raising activities. The working group will develop and implement these activities along with supporting pilot projects and will provide a first report back on its progress at the twelfth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (Geneva, 22-25 June 2020).

Also launched during the meeting was a Plastic Waste Photo Contest, aiming to raise awareness not only of the plastic waste problem, but also the solutions out there, our collective progress to date and the challenges and opportunities moving forward. Entries from professional, amateur, and junior photographers are invited by 30 September 2020 and will be judged by a National Geographic photographer.

Reflecting on the packed week of discussions, events and announcements, BRS Executive Secretary, Mr. Rolph Payet, applauded the Partnership on its first great leap forward in tackling the plastic waste issue while noting that the hard work was just about to begin. He also reaffirmed the commitment of the BRS Secretariat to the issue and in its support to the Partnership.

Separately, Mr Payet met with the President of Seychelles, H.E. Mr Danny Faure. More details are available on the Seychelles State House website: http://www.statehouse.gov.sc/news/4758/president-faure-receives-professor-rolph-payet-at-state-house.

The meeting was made possible using funding generously provided by the governments of Canada, Japan, Norway, Seychelles and Switzerland.

Notes for Editors:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is the most comprehensive international environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes and is almost universal, with 187 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 two types of waste defined as “other wastes”, namely household waste and incinerator ash. For more info see: www.basel.int

On May 10, 2019, the Parties to the Basel Convention adopted two important decisions to address plastic waste, namely the adoption of the Plastic Waste Amendment, and a decision setting out a range of further actions, including the establishment of the Plastic Waste Partnership. These steps have strengthened the Basel Convention as the only global legally-binding instrument to specifically address plastic waste. For more on the Amendments see: http://www.basel.int/?tabid=8347

On March 2, 2020, the Plastic Waste Partnership launched the Plastic Waste Photo Contest, to raise awareness on this global issue. For more information on the Contest see: http://www.basel.int/?tabid=8348

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

For more on the Plastic Waste Partnership, contact:

Susan WINGFIELD
BRS Programme Officer, Geneva
+41-22-9178406
Melisa LIM
BRS Programme Officer, Geneva
+41-22-91782283

For BRS conventions general media enquiries see: www.brsmeas.org or contact:

Charlie AVIS
BRS Public Information Officer, Geneva
+41-79-730-4495



[1] Data from “Marine litter plastics and microplastics and their toxic chemicals components: the need for urgent preventive measures” by Frederic Gallo et. al. in Environmental Sciences Europe 2018; 30(1): 13, at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5918521/

New Plastic Waste Photo Contest launched to raise awareness on plastic waste pollution

Photographs are invited from professionals, amateurs and children, and will be judged by a panel including a National Geographic photographer. Deadline for submission: 30 September 2020.

New Plastic Waste Photo Contest launched to raise awareness on plastic waste pollution

New Plastic Waste Photo Contest launched to raise awareness on plastic waste pollution
 
Regional Centre in Senegal is the first to operationalise automatic information exchange through the BRS Clearing House Mechanism

BRS information platforms expanded to include new portal sharing publications, events and contacts from the network of regional centres, starting with the Basel and Stockholm Regional Centre for Francophone Africa in Dakar, Senegal, as the first new information source and publisher.

Regional Centre in Senegal is the first to operationalise automatic information exchange through the BRS Clearing House Mechanism

Regional Centre in Senegal is the first to operationalise automatic information exchange through the BRS Clearing House Mechanism
 
85 million children engaged in hazardous labour affecting their health through exposure to toxic substances, says UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

The 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council addresses children’s rights to a healthy environment, as UN report shows that 25% of infant deaths are from preventable, environmental hazards.

85 million children engaged in hazardous labour affecting their health through exposure to toxic substances, says UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

85 million children engaged in hazardous labour affecting their health through exposure to toxic substances, says UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
 
UN agencies join forces to help meet the world’s growing electronic waste challenge: you can join in too!

See Inger Andersen (UNEP), Rolph Payet (BRS), Malcom Johnson (ITU) and Maria Neira (WHO) talk about the newly-launched E-waste Massive Open Online Course.

UN agencies join forces to help meet the world’s growing electronic waste challenge: you can join in too!

UN agencies join forces to help meet the world’s growing electronic waste challenge: you can join in too!
 
Enroll for this online course to help tackle the global E-waste challenge
The BRS Secretariat and partners’ Massive Open Online Course on electronic, or e-waste, is a unique opportunity to learn how you can become part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

Enroll for this online course to help tackle the global E-waste challenge

Enroll for this online course to help tackle the global E-waste challenge
 
To help rid the world of Persistent Organic Pollutants or POPs, Pakistan updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Addressing amendments made at COPs 4, 5, and 6, Pakistan has transmitted its updated National Implementation Plan.

To help rid the world of Persistent Organic Pollutants or POPs, Pakistan updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

To help rid the world of Persistent Organic Pollutants or POPs, Pakistan updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
First meeting of the new UN Plastic Waste Partnership takes place in the Seychelles

Less than a year after its establishment, the new Plastic Waste Partnership of the Basel Convention meets for the first time at Beau Vallon, the Seychelles, from 2 to 5 March 2020.

First meeting of the new UN Plastic Waste Partnership takes place in the Seychelles

First meeting of the new UN Plastic Waste Partnership takes place in the Seychelles
 
Outcomes online of the Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee, 15th meeting

The final version of the POPRC-15 meeting report and decisions taken is now available in all 6 United Nations languages.

Outcomes online of the Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee, 15th meeting

Outcomes online of the Stockholm Convention’s POPs Review Committee, 15th meeting
 
Accession of Equatorial Guinea takes the number of Parties to the Stockholm Convention to 184

The Convention will enter into force for Equatorial Guinea on 23 March 2020.

Accession of Equatorial Guinea takes the number of Parties to the Stockholm Convention to 184

Accession of Equatorial Guinea takes the number of Parties to the Stockholm Convention to 184
 
Final Report of the Stockholm Convention’s COP-9 is now online

The report of the ninth meeting of the Conference of Parties is now available online in all six official UN languages.

Final Report of the Stockholm Convention’s COP-9 is now online

Final Report of the Stockholm Convention’s COP-9 is now online
 
Panama updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

To help rid the world of persistent organic pollutants or POPs, Panama has transmitted an updated implementation plan covering amendments made at COPs 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9.

Panama updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Panama updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
Cyprus updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Reflecting amendments made at COPs 6, 7, 8 & 9, Cyprus has transmitted its updated National Implementation Plan.

Cyprus updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Cyprus updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
New BRS project launched on plastic waste in mountainous and remote areas

International Mountains Day 2019 marked by a special event in Geneva on 11 December, coinciding with the launch of a new project to help tackle plastic pollution, funded by Norway. Read the BRS Press Release.

New BRS project launched on plastic waste in mountainous and remote areas

New BRS project launched on plastic waste in mountainous and remote areas
 
Guatemala updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Reflecting amendments made at COPs 4, 5, and 6, Guatemala has transmitted its updated National Implementation Plan.

Guatemala updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Guatemala updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
Malawi updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Reflecting amendments made at COPs 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, Malawi has transmitted its updated National Implementation Plan.

Malawi updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Malawi updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
Spain updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Reflecting amendments made at COPs 6, 7, & 8, Spain has transmitted an updated National.

Spain updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Spain updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
First online consultation for working group of the new Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership

Hot on the heels of the PWP launch in Geneva on 12 November, the first online consultation takes place on 13 November, chaired by the Co-Chairs, Mr. Ole Thomas Thommesen (Norway) and Mr. Ross Bartley (BIC).

First online consultation for working group of the new Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership

First online consultation for working group of the new Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership
 
New BRS Press Release: Stockholm Convention POPRC experts recommend elimination of PFHxS

Perfluorohehexane sulfonic acid, its salts, and PFHxS-related compounds, were recommended for listing without exceptions as the POPRC-15 meeting in Rome concluded successfully on 4 October 2019.

New BRS Press Release: Stockholm Convention POPRC experts recommend elimination of PFHxS

New BRS Press Release: Stockholm Convention POPRC experts recommend elimination of PFHxS

Rome & Geneva, 4th October - This week more than 100 scientific experts, from all over the world, attended the 15th meeting of the Stockholm Convention’s Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC-15), in Rome under the auspices of the United Nations, and recommended that a group of hazardous chemicals be eliminated in order to better protect human health and the environment from its harmful impacts.

Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts, and PFHxS-related compounds are 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. They are known to be harmful to human health including the nervous system, brain development, endocrine system and thyroid hormone.

The experts also found that two more hazardous chemicals satisfy the criteria set out in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), namely that they are toxic to both humans and wildlife, that they persist over long periods in the environment, that they accumulate in organisms, and that when released they can be transported over long distances by air or water. Dechlorane Plus and Methoxychlor will therefore go forward to the next POPRC meeting in 2020 for further review and, taking into account any recommendation from the POPRC, a future meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Stockholm Convention may decide to list these chemicals, which would lead to action towards their elimination or reduction from production and use as well as the destruction of existing stocks and management of POPs wastes.

Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Stockholm Convention, said that “This recommendation is based on robust scientific review from experts all over the world who have concluded that listing of PFHxS in the Stockholm Convention would lead to a safer environment, with fewer harmful impacts on the health of humans and wildlife alike.”

Quick on the heels of the recent meeting of the Stockholm Convention COP in May 2019, which - based on recommendations from the POPRC - decided to eliminate production and use of two important toxic POPs, PFOA and Dicofol, this further recommendation to eliminate PFHxS would bring to 31 the total number of POPs listed under the legally-binding Stockholm Convention, which includes thousands of related chemicals. The Convention, which entered into force in 2004 and has 183 Parties, benefits from almost universal coverage across the globe.

Notes for Editors:

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 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.chm.pops.int

For more info:

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

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

Trinidad & Tobago updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Reflecting amendments made at COP-6, COP-7 and COP-8, Trinidad & Tobago has transmitted its updated National Implementation Plan or NIP.

Trinidad & Tobago updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention

Trinidad & Tobago updates its national plan for implementing the Stockholm Convention
 
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