27 July 2016

Watch Group Alerts Consumers on Dangers of Consuming Unregistered Cosmetics

Assorted cosmetic products lacking product notifications and Jiachuntang Ban Gan Jing Qu Ban Shuang, a skin whitening cream with 3,802 parts per million (ppm) mercury. 
A watch group working for consumer safety against potentially hazardous goods in the marketplace has alerted the public against patronizing cosmetics that have not gone through the government’s verification process.

To avoid getting ripped off and to prevent potential side effects, the EcoWaste Coalition advised consumers to shun health and beauty products that had no prior product notifications from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).

The group made the advice after procuring from discount stores in Caloocan, Manila, Pasay and Quezon Cities last week some 80 assorted cosmetic products, mainly imported from China, which evaded the mandatory notification requirement.  The group brought the samples to the FDA last Monday, July 25. 

As per Department of Health Administrative Orders 2005-0015 and 2005-0025, the company or person responsible for placing a cosmetic product in the market shall notify the FDA before the product is placed in the market in line with the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD).

According to the FDA, “companies intending to manufacture, import, export, distribute, sell, offer for sale, transfer, promote and advertise cosmetic products (must) apply with the agency, prior to carrying out said activities, for the License to Operate (LTO) as Cosmetic Establishment and for Cosmetic Product Notification (CPN).”

“The proliferation of unregistered cosmetics in the market in spite of the repeated warning from the FDA against such illegal act is indeed worrisome,” lamented  Thony Dizon, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.

“Many of these products do not adhere to the standard cosmetic labeling requirements, depriving consumers of their right to basic information such as the product ingredients, usage instruction and precautionary warning if any,” he noted.

“Consumers using non-compliant and low quality cosmetics may be unsuspectingly exposing themselves to harmful bacterial and chemical contaminants and other impurities that can damage human health,” he said.

The FDA has warned that “the use of substandard and possibly adulterated cosmetic products may result to adverse reactions including but not limited to skin irritation, itchiness and anaphylactic shock.”

“Some of these products may even contain substances that are not allowed or not in conformity with the restrictions and conditions as laid down by the ACD,” he pointed out.

For instance, the group found excessive mercury content at 3,802 parts per million (ppm) in Jiachuntang Ban Gan Jing Qu Ban Shuang, a skin whitening cream, which is way above the 1 ppm limit for mercury in cosmetics under the ACD.

To promote regulatory compliance by stores selling cosmetics and personal care products, the group echoed the FDA’s appeal to the public to assist the agency in monitoring the market and to report any suspicious promotional or marketing activities for unnotified cosmetic products.

The group also reiterated the agency’s request to all local government units and law enforcement agencies to ensure that unnotified cosmetic products are not sold or made available in their localities or areas of jurisdiction.

Finally, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the government, the industry, the local government and police authorities and the public to find ways to cut the availability of unregistered cosmetics in the market to encourage demand reduction and to protect consumers from unsafe products.



26 July 2016

Duterte’s Waste Disposal Plan Worries Environmental Groups


Environmental groups urged President Rodrigo Duterte to seriously reconsider his plan to adopt waste-to-energy (WtE) facilities to deal with Metro Manila’s burgeoning garbage estimated at 9,213 tons per day.

In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday, Duterte announced: “To have adequate disposal facilities for the Metro Manila garbage, the final closure and rehabilitation of the Carmona Sanitary Landfill shall be pursued while the adoption of appropriate waste-to-energy facilities will be explored. Marami yan. The technology is coming very fast.”

The presidential pronouncement in favor of WtE has left Zero Waste advocates worried, warning that incinerating waste will have many negative environmental, health and social consequences.

“Not all WtE options are safe, legal and acceptable.  Incinerators masquerading as WtE are false and expensive solutions to the garbage problem.  The government has to be extra cautious about endorsing such magic bullet technologies, especially when the solution to the garbage problem lies in the full implementation of Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act,” stated environmental activist Von Hernandez of Greenpeace.

“A shift to thermal WtE, a quick-fix ‘solution,’ will undermine the nation’s efforts to sustainably deal with its garbage through recycling, composting and other Zero Waste strategies that are embodied in R.A. 9003.  Instead of burning discards, the government and the private sector need to invest more on redesigning products and on waste prevention and reduction activities excluding incineration.  Local government units, who are primarily in charge of R.A. 9003’s implementation, need to wake up from their slumber and fully enforce the law,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition. 

“We would caution the new government not to put too much faith in WtEs.  These are old technologies repackaged to escape the stigma of pollution and contamination to communities.  There is no magic technology to dispose of waste.  What is needed is an overhaul of our solid waste management system rooted in corruption, irresponsibility and inefficiency,” said Anne Larracas, Priority Project and Network Support Officer, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives.

“WtE is actually a misnomer as burning materials that could be reused, recycled or composted destroy the energy-saving potential of putting those discards to better use,” Sonia Mendoza, Chairman, Mother Earth Foundation.  “Recycling conserves 3 to 5 times the energy that WtE power plants generate,” she added.

Rene Pineda, President of the Partnership for Clean Air, said: “WtE is unacceptable because it is a violation of Republic Act 8749, the Clean Air Act.  We will fight all attempts to legalize WtEs.”

According to the groups, the push for WtE will contradict Duterte’s statement that his “administration shall implement a humane approach to development and governance, as we improve our people’s welfare in the areas of health, education, adequate food and water, housing, environmental preservation, and respect for culture.”

“WtEs will put the people’s welfare and the environment at risk,” the groups said.

“Also, if the government wants to create more sustainable jobs for our people, then the WtE schemes are not the way to go.  WtE facilities will compete with recycling and composting for funds and materials, while creating far fewer jobs,” the groups pointed.  

“In lieu of costly WtEs, we urge the government to go for Zero Waste strategies, including the inclusion of the informal waste workers into the formal waste management programs where they can enjoy decent and secure employment,” the groups suggested.

The groups expressed their commitment to dialogue with the Duterte administration, particularly with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Solid Waste Management Commission, in order to effectively enforce R.A. 9003 and mainstream sustainable waste management solutions that will exclude thermal WtEs.


25 July 2016

Environmental Watchdog Welcomes Presidential Order Upholding Public Access to Information


A non-government watch group on chemicals and wastes has joined the chorus lauding President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for signing last Saturday his “Freedom of Information” (FOI) executive order.

“While it is no substitute to an all-encompassing FOI law that would apply to all branches and levels of the government, Duterte’s order is surely a huge boost to building a more transparent, accountable and responsive government that our people want,” said Noli Abinales, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

“The public will now have guaranteed access to a wide range of information pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions by offices under the executive branch,” he emphasized.

Under the said order, information refers to “any records, documents, papers, reports, letters, contracts, minutes and transcripts of official meetings, map, books, photos, data, research materials, films, sound and video recording (magnetic or other tapes), electronic data computer store data or similar data or materials recorded stored or archived.”

“We trust that Congress will take its cue from the president and pass an all-inclusive FOI law within a short period of time,” he said.

“We see the FOI law not only as an anti-corruption tool,  but as an indispensable instrument that can contribute to the attainment of the people’s right to basic services, healthy environment and socially-just development,” he added.

“We likewise hope that Congress will enact other ‘right to know’ laws such as a national Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) legislation that will provide public access to a database of hazardous chemicals and pollutants discharged to air, water and soil and transferred off-site for treatment or disposal by business or industrial facilities,” he said.

As the inventory of exceptions has yet to be drawn up by the Department of Justice and the Office of the Solicitor General, the EcoWaste Coalition expressed its hope that the exceptions would be few and would not be used to inhibit public disclosure by government agencies and officials.

“Specifically, information that is relevant to the health and safety of the people and the ecosystems should be made readily available and not treated as confidential,” he said.

“We also hope that the implementing details to be prepared by government offices under the executive branch will be procedurally simple and rapid to entice public participation,” he further said.


19 July 2016

Duterte’s Push for Trash-Free Localities Gains Support from Green Groups

Environmental health activists have echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s call on local authorities to clean up the ubiquitous trash in areas under their jurisdiction, lamenting that the garbage problem has persisted due to the lack of political will in implementing the ecological solid waste management law.

Last Friday, Duterte scored local government officials over the all-pervasive garbage in many cities and municipalities across the archipelago.  

“Many localities in the country are so dirty and yet the mayors are not doing anything about it.  There is trash and garbage around and if you have to wait for the plastic to go inside the drainage every time there’s downpour and excessive rainwater, nagka-clog,” the President said. .

“We empathize with President Duterte’s comments regarding the filthy state of our surroundings that is sadly becoming a rule rather than an exception.  If you look around, there is litter all over from tiny cigarette butts to the omnipresent plastic bags,” stated Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“By his words, we can see how upset he is with the dismal failure of many officials in fulfilling their responsibilities to prevent and reduce garbage that has obviously spilled into the streets, storm drains, rivers and into the oceans,” she added.

“We hope that he will follow this up with marching orders at his upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) that will instruct national and local government officials to faithfully enforce R.A. 9003 towards a basura-free republic where our children can safely grow, play and live,” she said. 

Republic Act 9003, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, is a major environmental legislation that provides a framework for managing discards primarily through waste prevention, reduction, segregation at source, reuse, recycling and composting, excluding open burning and incineration.

Sonia Mendoza, Chairman of Mother Earth Foundation, explained that “R.A. 9003. a decentralization law, devolves solid waste management down to the smallest unit of government, the barangay.  It can be implemented with the full support of the municipal or city mayor. It mandates source segregation, segregated collection, segregated waste destination and the establishment of a materials recovery facility (MRF) in every barangay or cluster of barangays.”

The activists stressed that the President’s stinging remarks should spur lazy and negligent public officials to abandon their lethargic approach in implementing the law, which many environmentalists worldwide have hailed as a model for responsibly managing society’s discards.

“It is often said that the Philippines has some of the best and forward looking environmental laws in the world.  The tragedy is that many of these laws remain lamentably unimplemented, often undermined by corruption and myopia on the part of government officials responsible for enforcing them,” said Von Hernandez of Greenpeace.

“It is scandalous that local governments are wasting billions of pesos on waste management approaches that only exacerbate the problem of environmental pollution through dumpsites, landfills and so-called waste-to-energy facilities, when in fact the safe, simple and inexpensive solutions to this problem already exist in our statutes,” he added.

“With Secretary Gina Lopez now at the helm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Solid Waste Management Commission, we hope that the Duterte administration will  seriously apply its hard-nosed and no nonsense approach in  mainstreaming Zero Waste solutions to liberate our cities and towns from waste and pollution,” the groups said.

Zero Waste solutions, according to the groups, turn discards into resources that can generate sustainable jobs and livelihood opportunities for marginalized families, particularly those from the informal waste sector.

Recycling, reuse, composting and other Zero Waste strategies conserve resources and energy while support community self-reliance and development.

The implementation of Zero Waste solutions will reduce the volume of discards requiring final disposal and eradicate the need for costly waste burners, including waste-to-energy incinerators, which emit dioxins, mercury and greenhouse gases, among many other toxic pollutants, the groups said.


17 July 2016

Environmentalists Urge Duterte to Stop Plastic Garbage Menace

A week before President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), green activists exhorted the government to decisively act against unrestrained plastic production and consumption and the consequent environmental pollution.

The Earth Island Institute, EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Greenpeace, Mother Earth Foundation and Nilad urged the Duterte government to enact a robust strategy to prevent and reduce plastic garbage from land sources that is finding its way to the oceans.

The groups reiterated its call on the government to enact a blanket ban on single use plastic bags and other vital measures, including extended producer responsibility (EPR) and environmental levy on plastics, following a cleanup drive and waste audit last Saturday at Freedom Island off the coast of Parañaque City.

Some 125 people took part in the event, including Filipinos and visiting environmentalists from Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa from Africa, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong,  India, Indonesia, Malaysia  and Taiwan from Asia and the Pacific, Argentina, Brazil and Chile from Latin America, and Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, UK and USA from Europe and North America.

The environmentalists from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America are here for a week-long meeting to address plastic pollution of the planet and come up with strategies to move societies to a sustainable, zero waste future.

Of the 259 sacks of waste collected (weighing 1,482 kilos), 79 percent were plastic materials, of which 20 percent were junk food wrappers and sachets, 17 percent plastic bags, 12 percent composite packaging, 9 percent food packaging, 7 percent polystyrene containers, 7 percent diaper liners, 4 percent hard plastics, 1 percent drinking straw and 1 percent plastic twine.

“To dramatically cut plastic use and disposal across the country, we urge the Duterte government to put the plastic bag ban among its top legislative priorities in the 17th Congress.  We expect our lawmakers to cross party lines and stop this ugly plastic pollution that is defiling every corner of our country, including our rich but fragile marine ecosystems,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Our legislators should also consider imposing EPR and environmental levy on plastic bags that will internalize external costs to trim down uncontrolled plastic use and littering, while providing incentives that will enhance shift in attitude and preference in favor of reusable alternatives,” she added.

Froilan Grate, Asia-Pacific Coordinator of GAIA, cautioned national and local policy makers against passing measures exempting oxo-degradable plastic bags from the comprehensive ban on disposable plastic bags being sought by ecology groups.

“Oxo-degradable bags, which are also made from petroleum-based polymers, are not exactly climate and environment-friendly.  Their proliferation, particularly in cities and municipalities that have adopted plastic bag ban regulations, has only reinforced the throw-away culture that is choking our surroundings with disposables and creating serious environmental and health crisis,” he said.

“Our mounting plastic garbage has likewise become a magnet for waste-to-energy incinerator vendors and other quick-fix pushers who want to take advantage of the weak enforcement of the country’s ban on waste incineration,” he noted.

For her part, Abigail Aguilar, Toxics Campaigner of Greenpeace said:  “Now, more than ever, Greenpeace is focused on working with a global movement aimed at reducing overall plastics use, but also towards protecting biodiversity and ecosystems, and changing a lifestyle of convenience from a throwaway mentality to mindful consumption.”

Numerous studies, including some that were published in 2016, point to the need for global action to deal with plastic pollution.

The paper “Plastic Debris Is a Human Health Issue” by Dutch researchers A. Dick Vethaak  and Heather A. Leslie stated that “the global threat of highly persistent plastic waste accumulating and fragmenting in the world’s oceans, inland waters and terrestrial environments is becoming increasingly evident.”

“Humans are being exposed to both plastic particles and chemical additives being released from the plastic debris of consumer society. This material is fragmenting, leaching and spreading throughout the biosphere, including indoor and outdoor air, soil, and water systems,” the researchers said.

According to the report “Contaminants in Marine Plastic Pollution: The New Toxic Time-Bomb” by Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith and Joanna Immig, “marine plastic is not only entangling and drowning wildlife, it is being mistaken for food and ingested along with its toxic contaminants.”

“Marine plastics and in particular microplastics, provide a global transport medium for the most toxic chemicals into the marine food chain and ultimately, to humans,” the Australian environmental advocates said.




12 July 2016

Two Philippine Companies Receive First Lead Safe Paint® Certifications

Two Philippine Companies Receive
First Lead Safe Paint® Certifications
(SCS Global Services Issues Certificates Under New Standard)
Quezon City, Philippines– Two companies, Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc. and Davies Paints Philippines, Inc., are the first in the world to earn the Lead Safe Paint® mark under a newly-established certification program. The certification program, established by the international non-profit IPEN, was created to let customers know that the paints they are purchasing meet the Philippines mandatory regulatory standard[1] and the world’s strictest regulatory standard for lead content in paint.
Paints from Boysen and Davies were certified by leading third-party certifier SCS Global Services (SCS), the program’s exclusive certification body. SCS’ independent analysis confirmed that paint brands from the two companies contained less than 90 ppm lead. As a result, both companies are licensed to use the Lead Safe Paint® certification mark on their paint can labels and other promotional materials. Using this mark will provide consumers with confidence that these paints will protect their families from the hazard of lead exposure.
“Paints with high levels of lead continue to be sold in many countries in the world, despite the strong science demonstrating the dangers of lead contaminations. Boysen and Davies should be lauded for voluntarily meeting the strict requirements of the Lead Safe Paint® label, and taking steps to let their customers learn about the importance of buying lead safe paint products. We encourage other companies and brand leaders around the world to join Davies and Boysen and seek certification,” said Sara Brosché, IPEN.

"It's certainly an honor to be one of the first companies in the world to earn Lead Safe Paint certification." said Johnson Ongking, Vice President of Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc. "Boysen voluntarily removed lead containing raw materials from its paint products over a decade ago, even when there were no regulations that required us to do so; so we're certainly pleased that our efforts to promote lead safe paints have been recognized by a global program."

“Davies Paints has always been committed to manufacture high quality paint products to meet global standards with the goal of making a positive impact in the industry, in people's health and safety, and in environmental protection. As a member of both the US and the Philippine Green Building Council, our efforts are directed towards providing green decorative and industrial coatings to our customers. This distinction as one of the world's first certified Lead Safe Paint is a testament to the Davies Mission,” said Johnlee Garcia, President, Davies Paints Philippines, Inc.

Nicole Muñoz, Operations Manager for SCS Global services stated, “SCS is proud to partner with IPEN to certify eligible brands to meet the Lead Safe Paint certification criteria and work with brand leaders to make lead safe paint available for wider consumer use.  We look forward to expanding this program globally.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls lead paint “a major flashpoint” for children’s potential lead poisoning, and points out that “lead paint is one of the largest sources of exposure to lead in children.” Moderate lead exposure during early childhood years has been linked to an increased likelihood of impaired cognition and executive function, impulsiveness, aggression and delinquent behavior. Brain damage caused by chronic, low-level exposure to lead is irreversible and untreatable.

Lead Safe Paint® is an independent, third party certification program that verifies paints contain less than 90 parts per million (ppm) or 0.009% total lead (dry weight). More information is available at www.leadsafepaint.org. The 90 ppm standard is used in mandatory regulation in the U.S., Philippines, Nepal and other countries. This standard is achievable when a manufacturer avoids the use of lead pigments and driers in its products, and when reasonable care is taken to avoid the use of ingredients that are contaminated or falsely labeled.

The EcoWaste Coalition, a public interest NGO in the Philippines, and the Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers, with support from IPEN and the Occupational Knowledge International, deliberated and endorsed the lead safe paint certification standard in 2014.  This endorsement followed the adoption in 2013 of a historic government policy phasing out leaded architectural, decorative and household paints by January 1, 2017 and leaded industrial paints by January 1, 2020.


About IPEN

IPEN is a global non-government organization (NGO) with participating organizations in more than 100 countries working for a toxics free future. It has conducted lead paint testing and analysis in more than 40 countries and is a member of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint Advisory Group. It is also the Scheme Owner for the Lead Safe Paint® standard and certification mark. For information, visit, www.ipen.org

About SCS Global Services

SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for more than 30 years. Programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, and more. SCS is a chartered Benefit Corporation, reflecting its corporate commitment to creating a material positive impact on society and the environment, and 2016 recipient of the Acterra Award for Sustainability.  For information, visit www.scsglobalservices.com.

[1] The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order 2013-24 sets a mandatory limit of 90 ppm for lead in paint and establishes a three-year phase-out period for lead-containing architectural, decorative and household paints (2013-2016) and a six-year phase-out period for lead-containing industrial paints (2013-2019).

04 July 2016

Duterte Admin Urged to Come Down Hard on Dealers of Dangerous Contraband Goods (Watch Group Calls for Government Crackdown vs. Mercury-Laced Cosmetics)

"Ugly 12" mercury-laden skin whitening cosmetics (above); mercury-laced but not yet banned: Jiachuntang Ban Gan Jing Qu Ban Shuang and Xuemeiting (below).

An environmental and health watch group on chemicals and wastes urged the new government to go after the smugglers of dangerous goods, particularly cosmetics and personal care products containing toxic mercury.

The EcoWaste Coalition prodded President Rodrigo Duterte and Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial to intensify government enforcement activities led by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to turn the tide against contraband beauty products that have flooded the domestic market.

At the same time, the group requested the Duterte government to work for the immediate ratification of the Minamata Convention of Mercury, which, among other things, seeks to phase out or phase down mercury-containing products to protect human health and the environment.

The appeal came on the heels of the group’s discovery on Sunday, July 3, of 12 imported skin lightening or whitening creams with outrageous levels of mercury up to 41,000 parts per million (ppm), way above the 1 ppm limit under the ASEAN Cosmetics Directive.

Dubbed as the “Ugly 12,” these toxic cosmetics, which were not notified with the FDA, originated mainly from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and  sold by Chinese pharmacies and cosmetics retailers in Binondo, Divisoria, Sta. Cruz and Quiapo, Manila from P60 to P180 each.

“Notwithstanding the repeated warnings from the FDA against their importation and subsequent sale, we still find mercury-laden skin whitening creams in store shelves, particularly in Chinese drug stores,” lamented Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“In fact, 10 of these 12 non-compliant cosmetics were among those already banned by the FDA since 2010 for posing imminent danger or injury to consumers due to their excessively high mercury content,” she said.

To date, the FDA has banned 135 mercury-containing skin whitening creams, 79 of which were discovered by the EcoWaste Coalition during periodic test buys as part of the group’s campaign against mercury pollution.
“Unscrupulous traders continue to prey on consumers, particularly women, who need products within their means to lighten their skin tone, erase freckles or get rid of acne,” she noted.  

“We urge the new government to relentlessly go after the smugglers and dealers of these dangerous cosmetics to prevent mercury poisoning among users and even non-users,” she added.

“We specifically call upon the customs, police and local government authorities, traders and  consumers to support the FDA to end this unlawful trade of mercury-added cosmetics once and for all,” she emphasized.

In the meantime, the EcoWaste Coalition reminded consumers to be cautious when buying or using skin whitening cosmetics, stressing that the easiest way for consumers to avoid mercury exposure is to accept their natural skin tone and to shun cosmetics of unknown composition or from suspicious sources.

The group warned that the use of the following “Ugly 12” mercury-laden cosmetics  products can lead to serious adverse reactions and those using them should stop right away and see a doctor if feeling sick or in doubt: Aichun Beauty Pawpaw Whitening and Freckle Remover, Erna Whitening Cream, Gemli Glutathione Hydrolyzed Collagen Whitening and Anti-Aging, JJJ Magic Spots Removing Cream, Jiachuntang Ban Gan Jing Qu Ban Shuang,  Jiaoli 10-Day Eliminating Freckle Day and Night Set, Jiaoli Miraculous Cream, S’zitang, Yangoian Fashion Care Skin Strong Whitening and Spot Removing Package, Women of Flower Whitening and Speckle Removing A and B Series, Xuemeiting and Yu Dan Tang 10-Day Specific Eliminating Freckle Spot & Double Whitening Sun Block Cream (Ginseng & Green Cucumber).

According to the FDA, “there have been cases of adverse health effects brought about by highly toxic mercury in cosmetic products, such as kidney damage, skin rashes, skin discoloration and scarring.”

The agency has warned that “chronic use reduces the skin's normal resistance against bacterial and fungal infections. Other effects include anxiety, depression or psychosis and peripheral neuropathy.”

“The transfer of mercury to fetuses of pregnant women may manifest as neurodevelopment deficits later in life,” it said.


Additional Information:

Mercury content of the “Ugly 12” as per X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Screening Conducted by the EcoWaste Coalition:Yu Dan Tang 10-Day Specific Eliminating Freckle Spot & Double Whitening Sun Block Cream (Ginseng & Green Cucumber), 41,000 ppm
Erna Whitening Cream, 4,911 ppmJiachuntang Ban Gan Jing Qu Ban Shuang, 3,347 ppmWomen of Flower Whitening and Speckle Removing A and B Series, 3,017 ppm
Jiaoli Miraculous Cream, 2,859 ppm
S’zitang, 2,812 ppm
Jiaoli 10-Day Eliminating Freckle Day and Night Set, 2,678 ppm
Yangoian Fashion Care Skin Strong Whitening and Spot Removing Package, 1,334 ppm
Gemli Glutathione Hydrolyzed Collagen Whitening and Anti-Aging, 916 ppm
JJJ Magic Spots Removing Cream, 557 ppm
Xuemeiting , 329 ppm
Aichun Beauty Pawpaw Whitening and Freckle Remover, 323 ppm



03 July 2016

EcoWaste Coalition Urges Filipinos to Help Duterte Government - One Bag at a Time

The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental watch group on chemicals and wastes, urged the public to support the effort of the Duterte government to protect the ecosystems by simply saying “no bag, please.”

As the International Plastic Bag Free Day is observed today, the group rallied the people to shun disposable bags to reduce plastic garbage and pollution that will surely eat up a huge chunk of the government’s budget.

“Shifting from disposable to reusable bags will substantially cut the waste volume and save hundreds of millions of pesos in disposal costs, which can be diverted to improve public services for the people,” said Ochie Tolentino, Zero Waste Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“In lieu of plastic or paper bags, we request the public to keep a stack of bags and containers that can be reused over and over again rather than becoming litter in the streets or the oceans,” she suggested.

“The government can help the public move away from disposable to reusable bags by banning the giving of plastic bags for free and by banning plastic carry bags, particularly the single-use, nationally,” she added.

The group cited figures from the National Solid Waste Management Commission’s website showing the projected waste generation in 2016 at 40,087 tons per day for the entire country and 9,213 tons per day for Metro Manila.  Plastics constitute at least 25 per cent of the generated wastes.

To give an idea as to the costs involved, the group cited a Commission on Audit report indicating that Metro Manila’s local government units spent over P4 billion pesos for solid waste management in 2012.  Metro Manila’s waste generation then was 8,601 tons per day.

“This does not include the tens of millions of pesos used by the Metro Manila Development Authority year in and year out to de-clog our esteros of plastic waste and other rubbish, which comes from the agency’s own budget allotment,” Tolentino clarified.

“There is no estimate as to how much is spent to get rid of the plastic discards polluting our beaches and coastlines,” she added.

The EcoWaste Coalition also expressed concern over the spillage of plastic trash in the rivers, seas and the oceans, warning that “the plasticization of our waterways and water bodies is a disturbing reality for our fish-eating nation where fishing is also a major source of livelihood.”

Tolentino recalled that a 2014 waste audit conducted at the Manila Bay by the EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace and the Mother Earth Foundation showed that plastic materials was 61.9 percent of the discards collected, with plastic bags topping the list at 23.2 percent and followed by composites or plastic wrappers at 18.8 percent.

The group said that a recently-published study by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation has indicated there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 unless the world takes action.

The group further expressed serious concern over the consumption by marine organisms, who mistake them for food, of minute pieces of plastic containing extremely toxic substances.

According to the report “Contaminants in Marine Plastic Pollution: ‘The New Toxic Time-Bomb’ by the National Toxics Network of Australia, “marine plastics and in particular microplastics, provide a global transport medium for the most toxic chemicals into the marine food chain and ultimately, to humans,” including persistent bioaccumulative toxins (PBTs) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, “plastic waste causes financial damage of US$13 billion to marine ecosystems each year.”