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Documents

A Crisis of Waste: A Photo Book on the Situation and Crisis of Waste in Thailand

By EARTH, Photo by Karnt Thassanaphak, December 2021

The world is facing a crisis of waste, and Thailand is no exception. Today, this country faces a growing quantity of wastes from various sources, including households/communities and industrial factories. In addition, plastic scraps, electronic scraps and wastes of other sorts are flowing from across the border into recycling factories. These waste importations occur through various avenues from illegal smugglings to exploitation of loopholes in the law. 

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Plastic Waste Management Hazards

2021 | Prof. Hideshige Takada, Dept. of Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences, and
Lee Bell, IPEN Mercury and POPs Policy Advisor

Plastic waste has become an unprecedented pollution issue around the globe. From visible plastic litter on land and in oceans to invisible micro-plastics in lakes, mountains, and rain, the planet is increasingly blanketed in the petrochemical remnants of plastic production. With petrochemical companies avoiding fossil fuel carbon liabilities by massively increasing plastic production, the amount of plastic waste generated is set to climb dramatically.

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Waste Trade in Southeast Asia: Legal Justifications for Regional Action

EcoWaste Coalition - JULY 2021  

The COVID-19 pandemic has already had negative effects on waste management, significantly contributing to increases in medical waste and household waste, and a substantial slowdown in recycling efforts. This upsurge in hazardous waste particularly endangers developing countries that are destinations for waste exports via the global waste trade.

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Toxic Chemicals in Plastic Waste Poisoning People in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe & Latin America.

IPEN & Arnika, June 2021

Plastics and food packaging contain chemical contaminants from manufacturing along with many additives to make them inflammable, more flexible, grease-resistant, or sterile, as well as other substances to create many other properties. Many of these additives are toxic and they leak from products during use and can be released during recycling and from recycled products.

This study focuses on persistent organic pollutants (POPs), whose releases are closely related to plastic wastes. The POPs include additives in the plastic as such, as well as unintentionally produced POPs (UPOPs) generated mostly by burning, incineration and/or other thermal treatment of plastics. 

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Aquatic Pollutants in Oceans and Fisheries

IPEN & NTN | April 2021

Chemicals are polluting oceans and waterways, not only endangering wildlife and those who rely on seafood for sustenance, but threatening the collapse of many fisheries. In combination with global warming, this is a catastrophe in the making. This report is the first to begin to detail the numerous ways and places in which chemical pollution and climate change is destabilizing this marine infrastructure and the world's fisheries. We still have time to stop the destruction, but as this report indicates, we will need to go beyond thinking only about how to control overfishing or manage pollutants in the fish we consume. Our survival, along with that of all other species, will depend on ensuring the health of the entire ocean, an objective we all must work on together to achieve.

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Plastic's Toxic Additives and the Circular Economy

IPEN | September 2020

Toxic chemicals of concern that are widespread in common plastic products can hinder the momentum for a circular economy. A new report, coordinated by the Barcelona-based(1) Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC), serving both the Stockholm Convention and the Barcelona Convention, has been produced in collaboration with the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) in order to shine a light on extensive evidence of toxic chemical components in plastics that can harm human and environmental health and impede a safe circular economy.

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Dealing with Industrial Contamination: Problems and solutions from Thailand and a call to action

March 2020

The condition of Thailand's natural and social environment entered a crisis in 1990s, which resulted in major amendments to national laws concerning environment and pollution control in 1992.
 

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Call for a global ban policy on and scientific management of asbestos to eliminate asbestos-related diseases

Journal of Public Health Policy, March 2020 | Achyut Aryal and Craig Morley

Asbestos is a primary cause of cancer worldwide. Global estimates indicate workplace exposure of 125 million people and about 255,000 deaths each year. Of the approximately 300 million metric tonnes of asbestos ever produced worldwide, most will become waste and disposed of in landfills. The recycling and transforming asbestos fibre into a non-harmful product offer a sustainable solution, but a global commitment remains elusive. Urgent action is needed. 

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Lead in Playground Equipment in Thailand

IPEN & EARTH, October 2019

On 30 September 2019, EARTH visited Benjakitti Park and Lumphini Park located in Bangkok City, Thailand, and screened the playground equipment for lead content. In each playground, painted play equipment and the condition of painted surface were documented.  This study shows that 20 out of 24 analyzed pieces of playground equipment contained total lead concentrations above 90 parts per million (ppm), dry weight. In addition, 14 analyzed pieces of playground equipment contained dangerously high lead levels above 10,000 ppm.; 15 out of 16 bright-colored painted surfaces contained lead concentra­tions above 90 ppm, dry weight; and the highest lead concentration detected was 72,300 ppm in a red monkey bar at a public playground in Benjakitti Park, Bangkok.

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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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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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"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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News

Unity needed to fight 'waste colonialism'

Bangkok Post 29 June 2022 | Punyathorn Jeungsmarn

In many areas countrywide, imported waste releases dangerous toxic chemicals, including Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) or "forever chemicals" -- so called because of their ability to remain in an environment and organisms for a long time.

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Groups urge 2nd largest shipping company to stop shipping plastic waste

PRESS RELEASE 29 June 2022

Bangkok, Thailand – In conjunction with the 2022 UN Ocean Conference which kicked off yesterday with an interactive dialogue on addressing marine pollution, Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH) joined groups from around the world calling for Danish shipping company A.P. Moller - Maersk to emulate CMA CGM and stop shipping plastic waste from rich countries to weaker economies.

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EARTH calls for thorough investigation of Wax Garbage’s Fire

Pollution-Free EARTH 25 June 2022

“The recent fire at Wax Garbage’s recycling factory has raised many questions. The Minister of Industry had ordered officials to investigate the cause and impact of the fire, and to transport leftover chemicals to be properly disposed of within 15 days. But until now, there has been no explanation as to the cause of the fire. Meanwhile, suspicions are growing among the general public that this was a deliberate attempt to cheaply destroy large amount of industrial wastes that the company has to deal with”, said Penchom Saetang, director of EARTH.

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Thailand Clean Air Network Calls on Government to “Listen to the Citizens”

EARTH Report 21 June 2022

Thailand Clean Air Network, allied civil society organizations, and near-hundred citizen, calls on government not to kill the #CleanAirAct

Near-hundred citizens led by Thailand Clean Air Network and its civil society allies gathered at the Thai parliament, where they submitted a letter calling on the government not to kill the “Draft Act on Comprehensive Management of Clean Air for Health B.E. …”. 

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Department of Health warns Ratchaburi factory fire cause toxic chemical vapors

Pollution-Free EARTH 18 June 2022

An initial report by Department of Health on June 16th, 2022, warns that due to severe fire at Wax Garbage Recycling Factory in Ratchaburi province, local citizens may face severe air pollution from burning of chemicals, waste oil, and paint waste. These substances often include Benzene, Toluene, and Xylene, which if burned emit toxic gases such Sulfur Dioxide.

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Locals call on Ratchaburi governor to investigate factory fire - remove leftover hazardous wastes

Pollution-Free EARTH 17 June 2022

Locals of Nampu subdistrict Ratchaburi call on provincial governor to investigate cause and impact of the fire that broke out in Wax Garbage recycling factory on June 16th. Revealing that up to 34,625 industrial wastes are still left inside the factory, they also call on proper removal and disposal of those toxic substances.

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Delegates and Environmentalists Celebrate New Global Restrictions on e-Waste Trade

PRESS RELEASE: BASEL ACTION NETWORK 17 June 2022

Geneva, Switzerland – After eight days of detailed and stressful negotiations this week and last, the Parties to the Basel Convention at their 15th meeting (COP15) held in Geneva agreed by consensus to the "Swiss-Ghana Amendments," establishing new definitions of hazardous and non-hazardous electronic waste, and ensured that both of these two categories of e-waste will either be banned from trade or at a minimum require notification by the exporting country and consent by the importing country prior to export.

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Groups sue ministries over PM2.5 problems

Bangkok Post 22 March 2022 | APINYA WIPATAYOTIN

Environmental activist groups have filed a lawsuit with the Central Administrative Court against the National Environment Board (NEB) and two cabinet ministers for failing to deal with the country's pressing air pollution problems, saying every citizen has the right to breathe clean air.

The lawsuit was filed by representatives from Greenpeace Thailand, Environmental Law Foundation (EnLaw), Ecological Alert and Recovery-Thailand, Chiang Mai Breath Council, Northern Breath Council, the Rural Doctor Society and Climate Strike Thailand. 

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CSOs and local groups file a lawsuit to demand government action against PM2.5 pollution

PRESS RELEASE 22 March 2022

Bangkok- Representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs) and environmental advocates today filed a lawsuit against three public departments, including the National Environment Board, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Ministry of Industry for neglecting their mandate of protecting Thai citizens’ basic rights to clean air. [1] 

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Transparency and public participation needed for waste-to-energy plant

EARTH REPORT 21 March 2022

EARTH calls for corporate transparency and citizens involvement at parliamentary hearing on Onnut waste-to-energy plant

Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH) joined representatives of the Move Forward Party and citizens of Onnut-Prawet area in calling for corporate transparency and citizens involvement at a parliamentary hearing on pollution caused by the Onnut Garbage factory in southeastern Bangkok.

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Samples of contaminated water collected at Prachinburi’s 304 Industrial Park

EARTH REPORT 08 March 2022

EARTH’s research and technical team collected samples of contaminated water after a pipe leak at Prachinburi’s 304 Industrial Park

Prachinburi: Research and technical officers from Thai NGO, Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH), investigated the impact of a pipe leak at 304 Industrial Park, one of the largest industrial zones in eastern Thailand.

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EARTH THAILAND: Banking on Citizen Science Towards Environmental Activism and Protection

February 2022 |Interview with Penchom Saetang by Sonia G. Astudillo and Dan Abril

GAIA sat down with Penchom to talk about EARTH’s project, plans, challenges, and successes. 

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Renewed push to sort, recycle waste

Bangkok Post 21 February 2022 | PRATCH RUJIVANAROM and SUPOJ WANCHAROEN

City produces more than 8,000 tonnes of municipal waste per day

Penchom Saetang, director of Ecological Alert and Recovery-Thailand (EARTH) foundation, said wastewater is another big problem for Bangkok."With wastewater from chemicals we use in our daily lives accumulating, the ecosystem along the maritime routes will gradually deteriorate, affecting health and food chains." 

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After more than 200 oil spills in 50 years, here’s how Thailand can clean up its act

Thai PBS World 12 February 2022

Two recent oil spills off Rayong province are just the latest in a long line of similar disasters in Thai seas. Records reveal that more than 200 oil spills have occurred over the past five decades, with little apparently being done to tighten regulations, restore the environment or compensate locals for the damage to their livelihoods. 

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Environmental Experts Investigate Toxic E-waste Dump in Kalasin

BANGKOK, PRAGUE; 09 February 2022 | ARNIKA, EARTH

An international team of experts are investigating the industrial hot spots in Khok Sa-ad sub district, Kalasin province. The area is infamous for Thailand’s largest e-waste dump, where scrap from all over the world was formerly collected. The toxic pollution is even enhanced by local dubious dismantling and recycling sites affecting its wider vicinity, including poor local communities. Environmentalists from Arnika, EARTH, and the local administrative organisation are collecting samples for analysis of toxic chemicals.

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