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Documents

Trading Away Health and the Environment: The Toxic Business of Waste Imports into Thailand

Co-Authors: Tanya Lee Roberts-Davis & Penchom Saetang

Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH) | June 2019

Trading Away Health and the Environment provides an overview of the devastating impacts on the health and well-being of communities in Thailand where industrial waste processing facilities are being developed as part of an ongoing expansion of the transnational business of plastic and used electronics waste and scraps.

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Call for Proposals to support communities affected by industrial pollution

Jointly implemented by: EARTH (Thailand) and Arnika Association (Czechia) under the project: “Public participation through citizen science and EIA system enhancement” (Funded with support from the European Union)

Deadline for submitting: 5th July 2019

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Toxic Hot Spots in Thailand

Authors: Jindřich Petrlík, Alice Dvorská, Václav Mach, Marek Šír, Jitka Straková, Akarapon Teebthaisong, Jana Tremlová, Peter A. Behnisch, Martin Bystrianský, Autthaporn Ritthichat, Penchom Saetang

By Arnika Association and Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH) | December 2018

The data presented in the studies were obtained during sampling campaigns in Thailand in February 2015, February and March 2016, and February 2017. The sampling campaigns represent an important part of the project “Increasing Transparency in Industrial Pollution Management through Citizen Science.”

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Evaluation of passive air sampler measurements close to the Map Ta Phut industrial estate, Thailand

Author: Alice Dvorská, Ph.D., | December 2018

Passive samplers are chemical accumulators that can be used to assess ambient concentrations in either homogeneous or heterogeneous media into which they are deployed. They are increasingly employed in investigations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) (Shoeib and Harner, 2002). There are various PAS sampling media and designs used. In contrast to high-cost active air samplers, passive air samplers (PAS) do not require pumps, sampling heads and a source of electricity. They are inexpensive and small and therefore increasingly used for POPs monitoring and spatial studies at local, regional and continental scales (Pozo et al., 2009 and references therein).

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"We Fight to Protect Our Home:” Reprisals Against Environmental Defenders in Loei Province, Thailand

A report by Fortify Rights, October 2018

This report reveals that Thai authorities and Tungkum Ltd. committed and contributed to serious human rights violations and abuses against members of KRBKG and environmental defenders in Wang Sa Phung District, Loei Province. Violations and abuses include the arbitrary detention of human rights defenders and violations of the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, a healthy environment.

Local residents in affected communities surrounding the gold  mine largely rely on farming and the natural environment for their livelihoods and sustenance. Water and soil pollution has adversely impacted their daily lives and livelihoods. Residents have also complained about health conditions...

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PCDD/Fs and PCBs in eggs – data from China, Kazakhstan and Thailand

Authors: Petrlik J1,2, Teebthaisong A3, Bell L2,4, Behnisch PA5, Da M6, Saetang P3, Ritthichat A3, Kalmykov D7 | August 2018

Organizations: Arnika, IPEN, Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH), National Toxics Network, BioDetection Systems BV (BDS), Nature University, Beijing, China, and Karaganda Regional Ecological Museum, Kazakhstan

There is a range of studies on PCDD/Fs and PCBs in eggs1-7. Eggs have been found to be sensitive indicators of PCDD/F and PCB contamination in soils and are an important exposure...

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POPs contamination at ‘recycling’ and metallurgical site in Thailand

Authors: Teebthaisong A, Petrlik J, Ritthichat A, Saetang P, Strakova J | August 2018

Organizations: Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH),  IPEN, and Arnika – Toxics and Waste Programme

This study evaluates the results of the analyses for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the free-range chicken eggs in a vicinity of the artisanal recycling workshops in Samut Sakhon, a neighbouring province of Bangkok, Thailand. Free-range chicken eggs were used for monitoring levels of POPs contamination at certain places in many previous studies1-7. Eggs have been found to be sensitive indicators of POPs contamination in soils or dust and are an important exposure pathway from soil

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Toxic Impressions: BPA in thermal paper

A report by Toxics Link, 2017

Thermal papers are widely used to print the sale receipts in various sectors like grocery stores, gas stations and bank ATMs to ensure fast and accurate services. This paper is also used by the ticketing agencies, lottery systems and other businesses, which require accurate and high volume printouts.

In this study, twelve unused thermal paper samples from both known and local brands of different manufacturers and suppliers were randomly collected from different markets in New Delhi. We found BPA in concentration between 300 ppm and 6600 ppm in thermal papers with the average levels of 3037 ppm, which is exceedingly high and can have serious adverse impacts on human health and environment.

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POPs at four Thai pollution hot-spots: Map Ta Phut, Samut Sakhon, Tha Tum, and Khon Kaen

Author: Václav Mach, PhD.

Supporting data: RNDr. Jindřich Petrlík, Akarapon Teebthaisong, Autthaporn Ritthichat

Arnika – Toxics and Waste Programme, and Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH), November 2017

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are toxic chemicals that persist over long periods of time in the environment. This study is focused on the presentation of data related to contamination by POPs in 4 hotspot areas in Thailand: The Map Ta Phut industrial complex, the Samut Sakhon hotspot area, the Tha Tum industrial complex, and the Pulp and Paper industrial area near Khon Kaen. 

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Chicken eggs as an indicator of POPs pollution in Thailand

Author: RNDr. Jindrich Petrlik

Supporting data: Akarapon Teebthaisong, Atthaporn Ritthichat

Bangkok, Prague, November 2017

In this study, we present the results of monitoring free-range chicken eggs from selected sites in Thailand which are contaminated by persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Free-range chicken eggs were used for monitoring levels of contamination by POPs in various locations in many previous studies. Eggs have been found to be sensitive indicators of POP contamination in soils or dust and are a significant exposure pathway from soil pollution to humans. 

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Ignorance is Toxic… Double Standard at Map Ta Phut

Authors: Penchom Saetang, Faikham Harnnarong, Sukran Rojanapaiwong

Published by:Campaign for Alternative Industry Network (CAIN)

Supported by: Heinrich Böll Foundation

January 2007

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Thailand’s Air: Poison Cocktail

Exposing Unsustainable Industries and the Case for Community Right To Know and Prevention [Thailand Bucket Brigade]

By: Campaign for Alternative Industry Network (CAIN) / Greenpeace Southeast Asia (GPSEA) / Global Community Monitor (GCM), October 2005

This report gives fresh evidence that the proposed ‘Community Right To Know Law’ and the ‘National Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR) System’ are essentially needed along with better environmental monitoring and direct involvement of affected communities in environmental decision-making with the aim to achieve environmental justice and sustainable society.

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News

Global Ban on Exporting Hazardous Waste to Developing Countries Becomes Law

08 September 2019 - Croatia's 6th of September deposit of ratification of the 1995 Basel Ban Amendment has allowed this global waste dumping prohibition to finally enter into the force of international law. The Ban Amendment, adopted by the parties to the Basel Convention in 1995, prohibits, the export of hazardous wastes from member states of the European Union, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Liechtenstein to all other countries. With Croatia's ratification, a total of 97 countries have now ratified the ban and most crucially the necessary 3/4 of the parties that were present and voting in 1995. The agreement will become a new Article in the Convention and will enter into force for the 97 countries after 90 days -- December 5th, 2019.

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EEC protests continue

The Nation 05 August 2019

Thirty members of the Network of Eastern Friends led by Gunn Tattiyakul, an NGO activist and coordinator for the Padrew community for sustainable development, protested in front of Government House on Monday while the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) policy committee met inside. 

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Recycled electronics are turning Thailand into a 'dumping ground for hazardous waste'

ABC Australia 16 July 2019 | Kathryn Diss

Electronic waste from Western countries, including Australia, is flooding the shores of South-East Asian nations like Thailand, sparking fears of air and water pollution.

In Thailand, scores of new sorting and recycling companies — many of them illegal and with Chinese shareholders — have sprung up in provinces surrounding the country's main port of Laem Chabang. The agricultural district of Chachoengsao, east of Bangkok, is one of the provinces which became a dumping ground for e-waste.

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EEC megaproject draws flak from residents

Bangkok Post 14 July 2019 | Sonthanaporn Inchan

The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is a well-known flagship megaproject of the military government. The project aims to turn most of the land in the three provinces of Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong into industrial zones.

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Thailand and ASEAN attempt to curb marine debris

Thai PBS 09 July 2019

In an effort to eliminate marine plastic debris, the 10 member states of ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asia Nations) has adopted “The Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Region” at the recent 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok.

ASEAN officials describe the document as a testament to the group’s joint attempts to address the problem in a serious and sustainable manner.

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Indonesia to return 210 tonnes of waste to Australia

Aljazeera 09 July 2019

Hazardous material and household rubbish found in containers that should have had only waste paper, authorities say.

Indonesia has said it will send more than 210 tonnes of rubbish back to Australia in the latest move by a South East Asian nation against serving as a "dumping ground" for rich countries.

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Thailand, ASEAN’s 3rd largest importer of plastic and electronic wastes

BLT 03 July 2019

In the past few years, ASEAN has been pushing away the shipments of plastic and electronic wastes (e-wastes) from around the world after China, once the largest importers of such materials, stopped accepting them in late 2017.

Statistics showed ASEAN’s imports of such wastes during 2016 and 2018 grew 171% and a survey by Greenpeace suggested that Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand became top destinations for these items.

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Curbing the waste crisis

Bangkok Post 30 June 2019 | Thana Boonlert

Asean Summit ratifies two initiatives to tackle harmful marine debris

The 34th Asean Summit culminated last week with the ratification of two green initiatives that should bode well for the future of the planet.

The Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris and the Asean Framework of Action on Marine Debris aim to strengthen regional cooperation to protect the marine environment. However, environmental advocates are urging all stakeholders to forbid foreign waste imports to reduce marine pollution.

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New law in Thailand risks drawing an avalanche of plastic waste

Nikkei Asian Review 27 June 2019 | MARWAAN MACAN-MARKAR

BANGKOK -- Thai environmentalists are pressing Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to slow the enactment of a law they say could create a loophole in monitoring pollution and result in Thailand importing more plastic waste from abroad.  

The law amends the 1992 Factory Act and is set to take effect in October. The amendment was approved in late February by the National Legislative Assembly, the then military-government's rubber-stamp parliament, to create a business-friendly environment, according to the government.

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Why waste trade should be on the Asean Summit agenda

The Nation 21 June 2019 | Lea Guerrero and Tara Buakamsri

Asean leaders meet this week in Bangkok as their countries reel from an unprecedented deluge of foreign waste dumping. Yet neither waste trade nor waste is on the agenda, especially considering the summit’s stated theme, “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”.

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'Trash plastic waste trade'

The Nation 21 June 2019 | PRATCH RUJIVANAROM 

Campaigners want Asean to target more than just marine plastic pollution  

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have called on Asean member states to go beyond a narrow focus in solving the problem of marine plastic pollution to also address the plastic waste trade, as the region continues to be inundated with imported trash.  

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ASEAN Urged to Adopt Full Ban on Plastic Waste Imports

VOA 19 June 2019 | Zsombor Peter

BANGKOK - Environmental activists from across Southeast Asia are urging their governments to present a united front ahead of a major summit in Bangkok against a surge of plastic and electronic waste imports that are turning the regions into the world's "dumpsite."

Thailand, this year's chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will host the leaders of the 10-country bloc for a four-day summit starting Thursday under the banner "Advancing Partnership for Sustainability."

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As World’s Trash Floods Thailand, Activists Call for Waste Import Ban

Khaosod English 19 June 2019 | Pravit Rojanaphruk

BANGKOK — Thailand and its Southeast Asian neighbors are becoming major dumping grounds for the world’s plastic garbage and electronic waste. Environmentalists now want to see a ban on waste imports imposed across ASEAN.

Environmentalists from Greenpeace Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines gathered at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand on Tuesday to discuss the sharp rise in waste imports seen by the three countries after China banned plastic and electronic waste imports in 2017.

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Southeast Asia should ban imports of foreign trash: environmentalists

Reuters 18 June 2019 | Patpicha Tanakasempipat

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Environmental groups called on Tuesday for Southeast Asian countries to ban waste imports from developed countries to help tackle a plastic pollution crisis, as regional leaders prepare to meet this week in Bangkok.

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Ratchaburi villagers sue toxic waste factory to pay for pollution clean-up

EARTH 11 June 2019

At the Civil Court for the Environmental Case on 11 June 2019, the villagers of Nam Pu subdistrict in Ratchaburi province who filed a lawsuit against the industrial waste treatment plant, Wax Garbage Recycle Center Company, refused to put further mediation process with the company.

Suffering repeatedly for nearly two decades, the villagers said they started to notice water contamination in their area in 2001, the same time as the company began its operation.

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