Ban Highlights

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Highlights of 2008

January 2008

  • BAN participates in the Nokia’s Corporate Responsibility Stakeholder Days, in Helsinki, Finland and gives talk on cell phone recycling and the global “Pachinko Machine”.
  • BAN participates in the intercessional working group on shipbreaking of the International Maritime Organization in Nantes, France.
  • BAN issues press release warning North American consumers that wish to discard post-Christmas electronic equipment replaced by gifts, that most recyclers are exporters and to use e-Stewards.
  • BAN assists in providing a section on the INFORM film: “The Secret Life of Cell Phones" which is released this month.
  • BAN is featured in New York Times magazine article entitled the “Afterlife of Cell-Phones".

February

  • BAN tips off EPA to the export of the SS Oceanic (aka SS Independence) after it left San Francisco Bay in a likely illegal departure. Issues press releases denouncing export and alerting Hawaiian authorities. Provides EPA with best evidence of PCBs.

March

  • BAN attends Mobile Phone Working Group (MPWG) and Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE) meeting in Geneva.
  • BAN sends in written comments on US Federal e-Waste Legislation concept paper.
  • For first time major news outlet targets US commercial ship export illegality and responsibility of the Maritime Administration in Christian Science Monitor Article featuring BAN entitled: “Aged Ships a Toxic Export”.
  • The Intercultural Movement for the Environment (MIE) hosted a film screening and discussion of Exporting Harm and the Digital Dump, Montreal.
  • Victory! -- EPA files lawsuit against GMS, major US based cashbuyer of ships for scrap for illegal export of SS Oceanic (aka SS Independence.)

April

  • BAN issues press release warning consumers in major media markets against massive North American Earth Day Electronics Free Take-Back event organized by 1-800 WEGOTJUNK, when they refuse to ensure that the program’s recyclers are not going to export the waste. Story makes banner headlines in Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  • BAN intervenes in European Union legislative process via MEPs to ensure that framework directive does not make new definitions for by-products which would have the effect of exempting waste exports.
  • Major Release! -- BAN’s website is featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show for her EarthDay broadcast as the location to find out what to do with your e-waste. 17,000 new visitors arrive at our website as a result.
  • BAN attends MiMeR/Boliden corporate foresight seminar on electronic waste and metals smelting, 22-23 April in Lulea, Sweden.
  • BAN’s Jim Puckett gives lecture as part of Henry Luce Speaker Series at University of Washington.
  • Earth Day articles in PC World and MSNBC online on e-waste is published featuring BAN and the e-Steward’s program.
  • BAN attends launch of the first e-Steward in British Columbia – Free Geek Vancouver and speaks at press conference.

May

  • Audubon’s May-June edition runs an excellent article on e-Waste featuring BAN and promoting the e-Steward’s program.
  • BAN speaks at special seminar on the ISO standard for shipbreaking on legal obligations that may be encompassed by ISO certification in London.
  • BAN attends and speaks on the NGO Green Ship Recycling Standard, at the Lloyd’s Register conference on ship recycling in London.
  • BAN presents the film Digital Dump to the Rausing Trust staff in London.
  • BAN attends board meeting and AGM of NGO Platform on Shipbreaking in Brussels.
  • Major Victory! -- After several years of campaigning, the ship the Otapan is properly pre-cleaned of asbestos, and other hazardous wastes before being delivered from Netherlands to Turkey, BAN as part of the NGO Platform on Shipbreaking was instrumental in this precedent setting achievement. BAN issued the “Otapan Principles” as part of the release.
  • BAN visits China as part of ongoing investigations.

June

  • BAN appears and is quoted in feature Newsweek article regarding shipbreaking the US export of the SS Oceanic.
  • BAN attends the 9th Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention in Bali, Indonesia and presses strongly for early entry into force of the Ban Amendment. Organizers open the conference with a short film prepared by BAN on e-waste.
  • BAN holds a Basel Convention side event on electronic waste, and shows a new short film from the Philippines e-Waste situation as well as an update on the status of the Chinese hotspot of Guiyu.
  • BAN’s Richard Gutierrez conducts side event on Japan’s Economic Partnership Agreements and their affront to the Basel Convention.
  • BAN participates in the shipbreaking side event of the NGO Platform at COP9.
  • BAN’s Jim Puckett delivers a keynote speech at the concurrent Ministerial level World Forum on Waste Management for Human Health and Livelihood.
  • BAN issues press releases, domestic and internationally, blasting the US for intentionally allowing practices that violate the laws of importing countries in their new R2 (Responsible Recycling) guideline. BAN issues critique of that guideline.
  • BAN issues press release on final day of Basel meeting decrying the lack of progress on the Basel Ban Amendment.

July

  • BAN conducts two day visit to Brownsville, Texas ship recycling facilities ESCO Marine, International Shiprecycling Limited, Baybridge, and All Star Metals.
  • The Electronic’s TakeBack Coalition of which BAN is a part, announces release of a Sense of Congress Resolution sponsored by Texas Congressman Gene Green which calls for a ban on the export of e-waste from the US.
  • BAN is proud to announce that Redemtech, a major US e-waste recycler has been the first participating Founder of the new e-Stewards Partnership to advance our "Pledge" program to a Third-Party audited system. At the same time BAN has contracted certification expert, Matthey Wenban-Smith to advise the development of this new program.

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Highlights of 2007

January

  • BAN attends Waste Not Asia meeting of Asian NGOs in Kerala, India. Shows both E-waste films, and is featured as keynoter on the Japanese Free Trade Agreement menace.
  • BAN attends special meeting in Colorado to educate school systems there on electronic waste disposition.
  • BAN with Junk JPEPA Coalition in Philippines stage a demonstration at Senate.
  • BAN Sends out Press Release warning that the launch of Vista will create a Tsunami of electronic waste on the shores of developing countries. Release was covered in world press and precipitated a meeting with Microsoft.

February

  • BAN, together with GAIA issues press release showing the intent of Japan to sign a bilateral agreement with India liberalizing trade in wastes.
  • BAN together with Japanese and other Asian NGOs issues a press release decrying Japan’s twisting the arms of Asian neighbors to take their hazardous waste. The release provided new evidence of Japan’s intent to undermine Basel Convention.

March

  • BAN issues press release denouncing global StEP program refusal to condemn exports of electronic wastes to developing countries and for their lack of inclusion and transparency.
  • BAN serves Japan with Basel non-Compliance Notification for their intended use of bilateral free trade agreements to undermine the Basel Convention.
  • Excellent article appears in New Republic Magazine featuring many of BAN’s recent press releases, entitled Data Dump.
  • BAN attends Take it Back conference in Washington DC. Speaks and shows film "The Digital Dump".

April

  • BAN Asia Pacific together with a coalition of Asian groups issued a press release revealing the large number of Philippine Senatorial Candidates that called for a rejection of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement, and in support of ratification of the Ban Amendment.
  • BAN and a coalition of American groups responded in a press release to the Apple Corporation’s denunciation of two stockholders resolutions calling on Apple to design greener products and take full responsibility for not exporting their hazardous electronic waste.
  • BAN helps organize Japanese environmental groups to denounce the JTEPA (Thai-Japanese economic agreement) in the Japanese press due to its waste trade liberalization obligations.

May

  • BAN Asia Pacific staged a major protest and media event in front of the Japanese embassy in Manila in a mock theatrical display of the Iwo Jima flag raising the symbol of the Japanese Yen over a pile of toxic waste and Asian developing country victims.
  • BAN’s Richard Gutierrez and Yuka Takamiya visit the Asia Development Bank meeting in Tokyo and conduct a well attended workshop on the Japanese Economic Partnership Agreements (JEPAs) and their anti-Basel Convention waste trade liberalization intent. BAN meets bank trustees and lodges its concerns regarding the 3Rs program and the JEPAs.
  • Victory! -- The contract between the US Maritime Administration and the UK shipbreakers to receive 9 more ships stopped earlier by a BAN/Sierra Club/Earthjustice lawsuit was finally scrapped. BAN called it a victory for domestic recyclers, jobs and the environment.
  • BAN’s attends Good Electronics Roundtable in Bangkok, presents on export of electronic waste.
  • BAN attends UNEP working group on Mercury in Bangkok.
  • BAN attends Asia-Pacific SAICM Regional Workshop in Bangkok.
  • BAN attends Kemi-Asia Chemical Issues meeting.
  • BAN attends meeting organized by EPA for final negotiations over the Best Management Practices for Electronic Waste recyclers in the United States. BAN continues to press for controls on export.

June

  • BAN attends first meeting of the Partnership for Action on Computer Equipment (named by BAN) – a multistakeholder partnership program of the Basel Convention.
  • BAN featured in Le Monde newspaper.
  • BAN warns that Ghost Fleet ships are currently leaching heavy metal contamination following a study in Suisun Bay, California. BAN calls for immediate recycling.
  • BAN signs distribution agreement for its films in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries and in the UK for educational market.
  • BAN submits comments on the changes in the solid waste rules of the US, calling for compliance with the Basel Convention even prior to ratification.

July

  • BAN attends the Marine Environmental Protection Committee Shipbreaking working group meeting in London.
  • BAN issues warning regarding the sale of two warships by Chile to shipbrokers. Calls on Chile to have the ships broken in the UK or US.
  • Major Release! -- BAN and Professor Weidenhamer of Ashland University release their findings that the source of lead in contaminated imported charm jewelry from China is likely to be electronic waste. Story runs in Wall Street Journal but fails to credit BAN.
  • BAN learns it has succeeded in getting a US Congress GAO study launched on electronic waste exportation.
  • Victory! -- The European Union Correspondent’s Group passes their Guidelines Number 1 distinguishing Waste from non-Waste electronics. This document is a direct result of BAN’s film "The Digital Dump" which exposed the loophole of exports under the guise of reuse.

August

  • Major Victory! -- The vessel Otapan, the subject of a concerted campaign over many years by the NGO Platform on Shipbreaking, has been refused one last time by Turkey, prompting the Dutch government to announce that it will be scrapped in the Netherlands.
  • BAN invited for a special film showing of "Exporting Harm" and " The Digital Dump" in British Colombia, hosted by Free Geek Vancouver.
  • Major News Story featuring BAN and e-Waste appears in Dutch Newspaper Volkskrant.

September

  • BAN attends the Partnership on Action on Computer Equipment (PACE) in Geneva. BAN presses for social responsibility to be in the plank as well as action on Green Design.
  • BAN attends the 6th Open-Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention in Geneva. Richard Gutierrez of BAN-AP, conducts Side Event on Japan’s Economic Partnership Agreements.
  • BAN hires researcher/writer to work on US Shipbreaking.
  • BAN issues press release in Washington State, warning the Governor that the e-Waste bill will likely have the counter-productive effect of collecting more e-waste that will then be sent off-shore to Asia.
  • BAN together with the NGO Platform on Shipbreaking, issue press release denouncing India Supreme Court Decision to allow breaking of the ocean liner, SS Norway (aka Blue Lady).

October

  • BAN’s film "The Digital Dump" is chosen from hundreds of entries to be shown as part of the United Nation’s Film Festival. BAN’s Jim Puckett attends and speaks at public screening at Stanford University.
  • BAN’s Yuka Takamiya and Japanese activist Takeshi Yasuma in Tokyo complete Japanese version of the film "Exporting Harm".
  • BAN attends and exhibits at the 2007 e-Scrap conference in Atlanta. Our booth promoting e-Stewards attracts hundreds of participants.
  • BAN holds e-Stewards coordinating/updating meeting at the Atlanta, Conference with leading recyclers.

November

  • Victory! -- BAN film "The Digital Dump" shown to the cabinet and President (head of state) of Nigeria with great impact. Nigeria immediately imposes high duties on e-waste.
  • BAN submits a comprehensive review and critique of India’s draft new Hazardous Waste law. This is provided to NGOs and the Indian government.
  • BAN alerts first EPA and then the Baltimore Sun about impending export of PCB laden ex-Naval hospital ship M/V Sanctuary’s likely export for shipbreaking in likely violation of US law. Story makes front page of Baltimore Sun.
  • BAN featured on NPR: Marketplace story including the story on our e-Waste coming back to haunt us in the form of imported charm jewelry from China – story which BAN first broke with Professor Weidenhamer from Ashland University.
  • Two major global Associated Press stories released with pick up from CNN, Fox, International Herald Tribune, Melbourne Herald Post, China Post etc. features BAN.
  • Victory! -- BAN stops export of another US ship. Following BAN tip and subsequent EPA action the Federal court in Baltimore granted both a temporary restraining order and Preliminary Injunction, effectively barring the export of PCB laden M/V Sanctuary.

December

  • Major Release! -- BAN is featured and applauded in a National Geographic article "High-Tech Trash", released in December for it January issue.

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Highlights of 2006

January

  • Major Release -- BAN is featured on ABC’s 20/20 news magazine story on electronic waste and what to do with that old computer.
  • BAN together with an international coalition denounces the export of the Clemenceau; releases report entitled "The French Deception," highlighting the fact that France is likely covering up the export of hundreds of tonnes of PCB contaminated materials on board the Clemenceau. BAN submits its report to the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee of India and rebuts French government statement.
  • BAN attends a USA computer Refurbisher’s Conference. Shows "The Digital Dump" and presses for high standards for refurbishers to develop for refurbishment for export.
  • BAN works intensively in negotiating the Washington State e-waste bill export language.
  • Excellent Op-Ed appears in New York Times calling for e-Waste export bans and producer responsibility. Op-Ed highlights BAN’s reports and films.
  • BAN hires former intern Yuka Takamiya part time as 4Rs Coordinator and office manager.
  • Major Release -- ZDF Television News Magazine Frontal 21 in Germany airs story on exports of e-trash from Europe to Africa, featuring BAN’s report.

February

  • Victory! -- ZDF TV in Germany follows up its earlier report with a statement from the German government that due to the BAN report, they will be requiring functionality testing of all used electronic equipment.
  • BAN issues Basel non-Compliance Report against the French Government for the export of the Clemenceau.
  • Victory! -- Clemenceau Export Stopped. Coalition including BAN succeeds in halting the export of the French aircraft carrier to India as French higher court agrees that the export violates the Basel Convention. BAN releases press release calling the coalition effort a victory for global environmental justice.

March

  • BAN attends the Northwest Sustainability Conference, shows both Films to enthusiastic audiences.
  • BAN attends the 3Rs meeting in Tokyo. Denounces the program for its lack of transparency and NGO involvement and its call to erase trade barriers to waste.
  • BAN releases critique of International Maritime Organization (IMO) draft Convention on Ship Recycling, calls it shockingly inadequate in Press Release.
  • “The Digital Dump” is featured at the Hazel Wolfe Environmental Film Festival.

April

  • BAN attends the 5th Open Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention and makes first showing of “The Digital Dump” to the Basel Convention delegates in a side event presented by BAN and the Nigerian government.
  • BAN makes a further presentation at OEWG5 regarding controlling the export of mobile phones in a side event of the Mobile Phone Partnership Programme and intervenes on behalf of the Global Platform on Shipbreaking to denounce the efforts at the IMO to date.
  • BAN attends the CleanMed Conference in Seattle and together with the Computer TakeBack Campaign, has a booth for our E-Stewards, shows “The Digital Dump” and speaks in a panel on Electronic Waste where we promote the E-Stewards program and extended producer responsibility (EPR).
  • BAN attends Environmental Law Institute Symposium in Washington, DC. and presents an NGOs point of view on the Basel Convention and the Basel Ban Amendment.
  • BAN attends a meeting hosted by the European Parliament and sponsored in part by the Global NGO Platform on Shipbreaking coalition where Environment Commissioner Dimas and MEPs were able to debate the issues of shipbreaking in the EU.
  • BAN joins the first face to face meeting of the Global NGO Platform on Shipbreaking and works to develop a strategy to counter the shipping industry and to promote pre-cleaning of ships prior to export.

May

  • BAN as part of the Global NGO Platform on Shipbreaking issues a press release calling for Bangladesh government to take action to halt the first Single-Hulled oil tanker, Alfaship from being broken in Bangladesh unless and until the vessel is pre-cleaned.
  • Victory! -- Bangladesh announces that Alfaship entry into Bangladesh waters will be barred pending an investigation into the toxics on board the vessel. This took place due to Global NGO Platform Action (intent to sue letter from local NGO BELA) and in part to BAN’s legal analysis.
  • Indian Supreme Court announces that SS Norway which was suddenly being tugged toward India from Malaysia, will not be allowed to enter Indian waters pending a review. This action was due to a petition filed by Platform member organization Ban Asbestos Network, India.
  • BAN attends the IMPEL Conference on Transfrontier Shipments of Waste in Bonn as a special guest (only NGO and only American) to show “The Digital Dump” and to help work on solutions. IMPEL is an enforcement initiative to better control environmental crime in Europe. BAN also convinces IMPEL program to conduct a workshop with African countries in West Africa which BAN will help organize.
  • BAN attends the Regency Asset Management Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, shows “The Digital Dump” and warns asset managers of Fortune 500 Companies to use E-stewards and ensure against insecure data, export and prison labor.
  • BAN participates in Third meeting of EPA hosted effort to set industry standards for electronic waste held in San Francisco as a side event to the IEEE Conference.

June

  • BAN to attend negotiation session of the Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative to resolve the question of how to control transboundary movements of electronic waste. BAN is only NGO in this process surrounded by industry.
  • BAN is featured in a new book authored by Elizabeth Grossman, with a cover photo also of BAN, entitled High-Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health.
  • Award! -- BAN receives the BENNY award for its work on the Computer TakeBack Campaign from the Business Ethics Network.
  • BAN issues press release denouncing the US government sinking of obsolete Aircraft Carrier, ex-Oriskany which was dumped off of the coast of Florida while still containing hundreds of tonnes of PCB contaminated material.
  • On behalf of the NGO Platform on Shipbreaking, BAN prepares extensive comments on the UK Shipbreaking Strategy.
  • BAN releases report blasting Norwegian Cruise Lines for deceiving in their export of the SS Norway for breaking in India. The report and press release were released after we uncovered evidence that they had conceived of scrapping the vessel prior to telling Germany that it would be re-used.

July

  • Release of Book Challenging the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry. BAN’s Jim Puckett authored a chapter, and BAN is referenced throughout the book.
  • BAN as part of NGO Platform on Shipbreaking wrote and published the following: Press Release: 'SS Blue Lady' Arrives In Alang In Violation Of International And Indian Laws; Comments on the Technical Committee Survey Report of Blue Lady; Press Release: Cruise Line Called on to Take Responsibility for Toxic Cruise Ship; and a letter to Star Cruises outlining Demands to take responsibility for Blue Lady (SS Norway).
  • BAN culminates intellectual property right dispute with Penguin Publishers, Landov Photo and Jared Diamond for unauthorized and uncredited use of BAN photo of e-waste in the book “Collapse”. Landov will pay 1,000 for mistake, and Penguin will pay 250 for use of photo and will correct future editions.

August

  • BAN assists NGO Platform, particularly members in Turkey, in revealing non-compliance with the Basel Convention with respect to the Dutch export of the OTAPAN, to Turkey for breaking. Prepares several press releases for coalition.
  • BAN conducts workshop with Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition with 15 university campus organizers to promote the Pledge of True Stewardship.
  • BAN submits paper to IMO criticizing the Draft IMO Convention on ship recycling.
  • BAN gets opinion piece published in the Baltimore Sun, denouncing Star Cruise’s corporate irresponsibility.
  • Victory! -- The NGO Platform on Shipbreaking, using BAN’s argumentation convinces Turkish Minister of Environment to turn back the OTAPAN and force Netherlands to take it back.

September

  • Dumping of toxic waste on Ivory Coast on board the Probo Koala places BAN at the forefront of global media. Interviews conducted in Le Monde, New Scientist, Vrij Nederland magazine, BBC World Service, New York Times, InterPress Service, The Independent, International Herald Tribune, TV5 Europe, Le Figaro and Enjeux Les Echos, Le Nouvel Observateur magazines etc.
  • BAN issues two press releases on the Ivory Coast dumping scandal and calls for greater enforcement and implementation of Basel Convention and Basel Ban.
  • BAN issues notice to all African Governments on how to respond to Probo Koala scandal.
  • BAN concludes two years of intense negotiations with the cell phone industry and despite disagreement, with the industry and the US, is able to promote an interpretation of the Basel Convention that requires functionality testing for exports of equipment for re-use this proposal is forwarded to the Basel Parties.
  • BAN releases press release on new findings of asbestosis among shipbreaking yard workers in India.
  • BAN submits paper to International Maritime Organization highlighting 7 needed reforms in the new shipbreaking Convention.
  • BAN visits Trinidad and Tobago to participate in the Basel Convention Regional Center workshop on E-waste.

October

  • BAN attends the International Solid Waste Association meeting in Copenhagen, makes a presentation on E-waste exports.
  • BAN attends the International Maritime Organizations’ Marine Environmental Protection Committee meeting in London on behalf of the NGO Platform on Shipbreaking and presses for reform of very inadequate and morally challenged treaty draft.
  • BAN releases press release calling IMO draft treaty immoral.
  • Victory! -- It is announced that French aircraft carrier Clemenceau, that BAN as part of a coalition, forced back to France from India, will in fact be recycled in France!!!
  • BAN attends the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers in Clevelend, shows film and gives presentation. Has a booth presence throughout the conference.
  • BAN attends the E-scrap Conference in Austin Texas.
  • BAN finds out about the free trade agreement between Philippines and Japan (JPEPA) that aims to liberalize trade in hazardous wastes. BAN writes critique of this issues press release with Philippine coalition.

November

  • BAN is major contributor to story on Shipbreaking in Bangladesh which airs on CBS 60 Minutes News Magazine.
  • BAN’s Yuka Takamiya and Richard Gutierrez Attend Asian 3Rs Conference in Tokyo. Denounces JPEPA free trade agreement at meeting.
  • BAN’s Richard Gutierrez arrives in the Philippines to establish BAN Asia Pacific in Manila. He is quickly a media star on the JPEPA issue and participates in press work with the Junk JPEPA coalition.
  • BAN report on JPEPA is released and BAN is featured in many headline stories this Japanese/Philippine Free Trade Agreement which intends to liberalize trade in toxic waste.
  • Major Accomplishment! -- BAN Attends the 8th Conference of Parties to the Basel Convention which thanks to BAN’s work has as its theme Electronic Waste! BAN delivers major statements at the meeting on Shipbreaking, Electronic Waste, the Ivory Coast Dumping Scandal and the Basel Ban Amendment. Meeting delivers a global Declaration on Electronic Waste and re-establishes the spirit of solidarity in Africa and elsewhere in support of the Basel Ban.
  • BAN participates in and helps organize side events on the Mobile Phone Partnership Program, Shipbreaking and Electronic Waste. Shows the Digital Dump film to some 300 participants.
  • BAN Prepares 8 Page color newsletter for the 8th Conference of the Basel Parties and circulates via email and prepares hard copy for upcoming meeting.
  • BAN’s Richard Gutierrez testifies before the Senate and speaks to the Association of Major Religious Superiors in Philippines.

December

  • 2 Major stories featuring BAN released on BBC World Service Radio globally (shipbreaking and e-waste).
  • BAN works with local NGOs in Kenya to investigate E-waste importation in Mombasa, Kenya.
  • BAN releases report and press statements from COP8 meeting.
  • BAN speaks on JPEPA at the Mindanao NGOs Forum, Ateneo Environmental Studies Forum, and the University of Philippines Law Center forum.

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Highlights of 2005

January

  • A major E-waste initiative undertaken by E-bay known as Re-Think acknowledges the Electronic Recycler's Pledge of True Stewardship and the BAN website. 15 new recyclers call immediately to join the pledge.
  • BAN is called on to provide information on a new GAO investigation – this time on E-waste in the United States .

February

  • BAN attends battleground joint IMO, ILO, Basel Convention meeting between at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London on shipbreaking. BAN releases with Greenpeace 3 press releases in the course of the difficult meeting and holds a press conference.
  • BAN attends EPA Conference on E-waste and Cell Phone waste in Washington DC .
  • Judge Collyer dismisses BAN/Sierra Club Lawsuit on technicalities. Despite disappointment, the environmentalists issue press release claiming victory as they achieved voluntary agreement from government on almost all aspects of case.
  • BAN is featured on major Canadian Broadcasting Documentary Program "5th Estate" on Shipbreaking entitled: "The Big Break"

March

  • BAN appears on NPR's To the Point and debates the Electronic Industry Alliance.
  • BAN joins Greenpeace in press release denouncing Canada's failure to uphold their obligations under the Basel Convention with respect to a ship export from a Canadian port for breaking in India .

April

  • Yuka Takamiya of BAN on behalf of BAN and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) attends the first Ministerial G-8 Summit on the 3Rs in Tokyo and holds press conference and NGO side event. BAN expresses concern over lack of NGO participation and the call for eliminating waste trade barriers.
  • BAN release first ever, Basel Convention Non-Compliance Report against India (for ignoring the Basel Convention with respect to importation of the Danish ship "Riky" and the United States for pressing to exempt waste mobile phones from hazardous waste definitions.

May

  • BAN joins international coalition to try and return the ship "Riky" to Denmark. Provides legal analysis of illegalities on the part of India in the case.
  • BAN receives "Whistleblower Award" from the State of California for discovering a "recycler" that was stockpiling monitors rather than processing them in order to take advantage of California law.

July

  • BAN attends the Open Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention. Raises questions regarding the IMO proposed Convention on Shipbreaking and issues definitive document describing “Equivalent Level of Control” and issues Report on IMO/ILO/Basel Joint meeting describing IMO efforts to manipulate the meeting. BAN participates in Mobile Phone Partnership Side Event.
  • BAN joins Greenpeace and a coalition of NGOs calling for the first time that the global shipping industry boycott India and Bangladesh due to their lack of concern for improving their ship scrapping yards and in ignoring international law.
  • BAN attends IMO Marine Environmental Protection Committee Meeting on Ship Recycling. Demands that any new IMO treaty achieve equivalency to the Basel Convention as a minimum.

August

  • BAN releases press release on implementation of Waste from Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) directive of the European Union warning against a “Tsunami” of Electronic Waste leaving they EU for developing countries unless diligent prosecution of export ban is implemented.
  • BAN together with Twisp River Films, begins conducting field investigation and film in Lagos, Nigeria to be entitled "The Digital Dump". Discovers massive dumping of electronic waste exported from Europe and North America allegedly for “Re-use”.

September

  • BAN and Twisp River Films completes the shooting and documentation for "The Digital Dump" in Lagos, Nigeria. Also visits the Basel Convention Regional Center at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.

October

  • Major Release -- BAN together with the Computer TakeBack Campaign, releases its report "The Digital Dump" exposing the fact that high-tech toxic trash is exported to Africa from Europe and USA creating a Digital Dump from Re-use and Repair Trade. Story is covered in New York Times and elsewhere.
  • Major Release -- Major Release: BAN premiers its new film "The Digital Dump" at the E-Scrap Conference in Orlando, Florida to rave reviews.
  • BAN, together with the Computer TakeBack Campaign holds first ever meeting of E-Stewards (recyclers that have signed the Pledge of True Stewardship. E-Stewards vow to press for an audited, certified version of Pledge to come out of the EPA hosted effort to create e-Cycling standards.

November

  • BAN attends the first face to face meeting of Project 2.1 of the Mobile Phone Working Group in Dessau, Germany. Shows " The Digital Dump" to Basel delegates and German EPA. Presses for more diligent application of the Basel Convention for exports of electronic waste.
  • BAN attends Francophone NGO Workshop on Waste held in Niamey, Niger. Shows translated version of The Digital Dump and makes presentation regarding concerns over electronic waste impacting Africa and the need for ratifying the Basel Convention and Basel Ban Amendment.
  • BAN attends RECCON conference on electronics recycling in Morgantown West Virginia. Shows "The Digital Dump" and makes presentation on electronic waste and global environmental justice.
  • BAN attends Basel Convention workshop in Tokyo entitled "Asia-Pacific Regional Scoping Workshop on the Environmentally Sound Management of Electronic Wastes". Shows the film "The Digital Dump", presses for implementation of the Basel Ban particularly in Asia for e-waste.
  • Story appears in Nation Magazine entitled "The e-Cycling Nightmare," features BAN and its reports from Africa and China.

December

  • Major Story featuring BAN and the Digital Dump story appears in the Washington Post.
  • BAN attends the First International Workshop: North-South dialogue on computer recycling and refurbishing projects, to be held in Santiago, Chile. Shows "The Digital Dump" to an enthusiastic reception.
  • BAN, with Greenpeace Hong Kong provides legal analysis to the Legislative Committee of Hong Kong on the failings of the Hong Kong waste trade legislation to properly implement the Basel Convention.
  • BAN receives word that the Clemenceau, a defunct French aircraft carrier is cleared for export by the courts of France using a “Material of War” defense. BAN prepares legal analysis refuting this court decision.

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Highlights of 2004

January

  • Victory! -- China increases its enforcement pressure against imports of toxic electronic waste and announces new procedures that require all scrap importers to register or be prohibited from exporting to China. Willful violations by mixing e-waste into other loads will face de-registration.
  • BAN gets opinion piece published in Waste Management World, January-February edition, on environmental justice, free trade and toxics.

February

  • BAN undertakes another field investigation in Taizhou region of China, south of Shanghai. Finds a new and growing E-waste dumping area.
  • BAN testifies in Olympia, Washington to ensure that state legislators fully comprehend the importance of controlling electronic waste exports.
  • BAN attends special workshop in California on implementing the California E-waste bill, holds conference call with State officials on the export language and submits with Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, text for final revisions.

March

  • BAN's Sarah Westervelt attends special EU sponsored workshop on WEEE Waste of Electronics and Electronic Equipment Workshop held in Skelleftea, Sweden and speaks to International Institute of Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University in Sweden.
  • Participated in Nordic Council special meeting in Brussels to discuss what can be done to address European Mercury Stockpiles from the Chlor-Alkali industry.
  • Participated in the European Commission Stakeholders Consultation meeting in Brussels on EU Mercury Strategy.
  • Produces two educational posters on Poison TVs, Toxic PCs and Exporting Harm.
  • BAN files a letter of intent to sue EPA and thus tips off the Region IX Environmental Protection Agency in California that a waste broker is readying to ship the USS Crescent City -- an ex Naval vessel full of PCBs and asbestos off from San Francisco Bay to China for scrap.

April

  • BAN attends First Ever Meeting organized by NGOs in China on Electronic Waste. BAN together with Greenpeace China presents an Award to the Chinese Government for taking the lead in proposing the Basel Ban Amendment and then in being among the first countries in Asia to ratify the agreement. BAN also holds a press conference with Greenpeace China to release the most recent findings of a field investigation in Taizhou, China.
  • BAN attends the preparatory meeting for the upcoming 7th Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention -- COP7. BAN successfully prevents a "takeover" of the shipbreaking issue by an "invasion" of shipping industry representatives at the meeting and was instrumental in ensuring that the questions of considering ships as waste is maintained and goes before the Ministers at COP7.
  • Victory! -- BAN's film "Exporting Harm" is shown at the Clean-Med Conference and Kaiser Hospitals agree to use only our pledging electronics recycler "Redemtech" for the handling of their Electronic Waste!
  • BAN releases short report on the fact that mobile phones are toxic and that the Basel Convention must be prepared to control their transboundary movement when they become wastes.

May

  • Victory! -- Following BAN's tip to EPA, EPA finds PCBs and forbids export of USS Crescent City to China. Various options for decontaminating the ship or scrapping it domestically are being weighed.
  • BAN publishes full critique of EPA's "Plug-In to E-cycling" electronic waste recycling guidelines and denounces and issues press release together with the Computer TakeBack Campaign organizations as being an affront to environmental justice as it continues to allow export of the material to developing countries and prison labor.

June

  • BAN and Sierra Club present a motion for summary judgement to the court to finalize our lawsuit against EPA and the Maritime Administration for their proposal to export toxic waste ships in contravention of the Toxics Substances Control Act.
  • BAN attends New York "e2e" meeting with various national delegations and representatives of all major computer manufacturers as the sole environmental NGO, to prepare a partnership to provide global solutions on electronic waste under the auspices of the Basel Convention.

July

  • BAN joins in the call from the Waste Not Asia meeting in South Korea in a press release denouncing the international trade in electronic waste in Asia.

August

  • BAN featured in major story on E-waste in Orion magazine “High-Tech Wasteland.

September

  • Major story on electronic waste featuring BAN published in UK Guardian: “Poisonous Detritus of the Electronic Revolution”.

October

  • BAN authors for the Computer TakeBack Campaign the critique of the G8 3Rs initiative which is an underhanded attack on the Basel Convention, calling instead for 4Rs to include Responsibility. Press release issued.
  • BAN issues a stinging critique and press release on the EPA's plans to allow the dumping of toxic ships, still containing substantial amounts of PCBs as artificial reefs.
  • BAN's Sarah Westervelt attends the E-Scrap Conference in Minneapolis , Minnesota.
  • BAN's legal counsel, Earthjustice, testifies in Washington DC , Federal District Court in lawsuit to Challenge Bush Administration Plan to Scrap Toxic US warships in England claiming that PCB export is illegal.
  • BAN attends the 7th Conference of Parties to the Basel Convention. Release papers on “Shame of Shipping”, and “Running from Basel” as well as provide information regarding legal interpretations on entry into force of the Basel Ban Amendment.
  • Victory! -- At COP7 the Basel Convention applies to ships is cleared up -- a decision is passed claiming that ships can be a waste and a ship at the same time, and call on all Parties to fulfill their Basel obligations with respect to ships including minimizing transboundary movements.

November

  • BAN is featured speaker at a Forum on Export of E-waste held in Oakland , California , funded by EPA and sponsored by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition.
  • BAN provides a major submission to the new Special Rapporteur on Toxic Waste with the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights.

December

  • BAN is featured in a major new magazine -- "Cabinet".
  • BAN moves to a new office in the Pioneer Square historical district of Seattle.
  • BAN participates in “Louisville Charter” meeting in Seattle , a gathering of major toxics activists, to strategize next steps to reform chemical policy in the US .

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Highlights of 2003

January

  • BAN, as part of the Ban Mercury Working Group (Ban-Hg-Wg) helps prepare report and strategy for the United Nations Environment Program Governing Council meeting in Nairobi in order to retain, as part of the recommendations and adoption of the global assessment on mercury, the possibility of a treaty in future on mercury and perhaps other heavy metals.
  • BAN as part of Ban-Hg-Wg releases press release revealing and condemning USA leaked policy documents that call for the US opposing development of a treaty governing mercury in future.
  • Victory! -- Nairobi UNEP governing Council rebuffs USA and agrees to keep the door open to the possibilities of a legally binding instrument on mercury pollution.
  • BAN begins work with the Washington Citizens for Resource Conservation (WCRC) to launch legislation in Washington State to require producer responsibility for electronic waste, to phase-out the use of toxics in electronics, and to close off the cheap and dirty escape routes for e-waste of prison labor, landfill dumping and export.
  • BAN attends the International Electronics Recycling Congress in Basel, Switzerland as key note speaker.

February

  • BAN together with the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition and the Computer TakeBack Campaign launch on the anniversary of the release of "Exporting Harm", the list of 15 companies that have agreed to the world's most rigorous set of criteria for responsible recycling of electronic waste -- The Electronic Recycler's Pledge of True Stewardship. The launch is initiated by the release of a color brochure, and ad copy as well as 6 press conferences nationwide. Press coverage from the release is excellent. BAN sponsors the press conference in Seattle, WA.
  • BAN together with Greenpeace Thailand releases press release urging Thailand, in the wake of new dumping scandals there, to ratify the Basel Ban Amendment and to ban the import of hazardous waste domestically.
  • BAN's film Exporting Harm: The High Tech Trashing of Asia is shown at PREPCOM2 of the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva.
  • BAN testifies in Olympia, Washington before the Commitee on Fisheries, Forests and Resources, in support of the newly introduced House Bill 1942 to responsibliy deal with electronic waste.

March

  • BAN appears three times in Washington Post Stories on Electronic Waste as well as on the US Government attempt to export its obsolete and toxic Naval Vessels to developing countries.
  • BAN attends and presents at the NGO gathering of 120 toxics activists sponsored by the Global Anti-Incineration Alliance (GAIA) in Penang, Malaysia.

April

  • BAN attends the Shipbreaking Conference 2003 sponsored by the National Environmental Education and Training Center (NEETC) in Washington D.C. and presents in two panels. Denounces MARAD’s plans to export obsolete Naval vessels.
  • BAN attends the First Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) of the Basel Convention. Holds excellent side meetings with US, Canada, China, and United Nations Human Rights Commission.

May

  • BAN attends and presents at the Northeast Resource Recovery Association Conference held in New Hampshire on E-waste.
  • BAN attends the 2003 International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment held in Boston. Maintains booth with other activists and presents as part of controversial Panel on Export.
  • BAN’s Ravi Agarwal attends shipbreaking and liability conference in the Netherlands – calls for upholding the principles of the Basel Convention.
  • (BAN joins Greenpeace and other activists of the Ban-Hg-Wg in press release applauding the reimporation of mercury from Unilever’s plant in India – demand halt to toxic mercury trade.
  • BAN launches new more professional website.

June

  • BAN is invited to attend the National Electronics Product Stewardship Initiative (NEPSI) negotiations held in Seattle to determine what form national legislation on electronic waste will take. Issues press release with Computer TakeBack Campaign urging states to forge ahead on E-waste legislation.
  • BAN attends the international conference onMetals and Energy Recovery in Skelleftea, Sweden. Presents key speech, shows film and visits Boliden smelter.

July

  • BAN attends as part of Greenpeace delegation to the IMO meeting of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) to denounce IMOs shipbreaking guidelines as inconsistent with Basel Convention.
  • BAN conducts with the Computer TakeBack Campaign the HardDrive to Dell Computer protest campaign against Dell’s regressive recycling policies. Protest starts in Seattle and culminates at Shareholder’s meeting in Austin.

August

  • BAN learns of intent by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to export 13 ships of the “ghost fleet” to the Able UK company in Teeside, United Kingdom, and begins to organize a coalition to halt the export. Engages Sierra Club and Earthjustice in forging a legal response.

September

  • BAN joins with Sierra Club and Earthjustice and files notification of intent to sue MARAD and the Environmental Protection Agency in their attempted export of 13 toxic “ghost fleet” ships to the UK.
  • BAN denounces California's Electronic Waste monitor bill SB 20 in their own press release as being an affront to global environmental justice, and joins the Computer TakeBack Campaign in issuing a statement of non-endorsement of the bill, due to the fact that it fails to establish a policy of extended producer responsibility and actually legitimises exports from California rather than prohibit them.
  • BAN joins with Sierra Club and Earthjustice and files lawsuit against MARAD and EPA and asks for an emergency restraining order against imminent export of ships.
  • BAN gets large article published entitled “Recycling: no excuse for global environmental injustice”, in Waste Management World, Sept-Oct 2003 edition.

October

  • Victory! -- Judge grants BAN/Sierra Club a partial restraining order and blocks 9 of the 13 ships for export. Further, the judge calls for the government to complete a new Environmental Assessment which was also called for in our suit.
  • BAN attends Open Ended Working Group of Basel Convention in Geneva and presses successfully with a majority of Parties for a determination that end-of-life ships are a waste and are a hazardous waste when contaminated with hazardous materials.
  • BAN releases report “Needless Risk: The Bush Administration's Scheme to Export Toxic Waste Ships to Europe” in Geneva press conference, Friends of the Earth UK releases it in London.
  • Victory! -- United Kingdom Environment Agency declares authorizations to import and scrap the 13 ships are invalid. At least 4 permits are later found to be wanting and raises the likelihood that the 4 ships that arrived in UK may have to be repatriated back to the US.

November

  • Victory! -- BAN works behind the scenes with European Parliament and the European Environment Bureau to amend the Draft Revised European Waste Shipment Regulation to strengthen it significantly. The European Parliament adopts most of BAN's revisions.
  • As the 4 ghost fleet ships dock in the UK, the Bush administration comes under more intense European criticism for their toxic ship exports and the international press roundly condemns the dumping.
  • BAN and Sierra Club amend the legal complaint against MARAD and EPA to include a RCRA violation as well.

December

  • BAN submits groundbreaking new ideas on precisely how to resolve the legal problems on shipbreaking to the Basel Convention Secretariat and Parties.

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Highlights of 2002

January

  • BAN attends the Basel Convention's 19th Session of the Technical Working Group, 14-15 January 2002, the 1st Joint Meeting of the Technical Working Group and Legal Working Group, 16-17 January 2002, and the 4th Session of the Legal Working Group, 18-19 January 2002 in Geneva. Together with Greenpeace they submit new legal argumentation on Shipbreaking and the Legal Obligations Under the Basel Convention. BAN meets with the Chinese Delegation to confidentially relate our findings regarding the Electronic Waste Dumping in China.

February

  • BAN together with the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition and SCOPE of Pakistan and Toxics Link India, releases groundbreaking exposé entitled "Exporting Harm: The High-Tech Trashing of Asia"on 25 February. It receives sensational coverage around the world and is featured in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Le Monde, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Seattle Post Intelligencer, AP, Reuters, BBC, NPR, Der Spiegel, Al-Jazeera, CNN etc.

March

  • BAN attends the Electronic Products Recycling and Recovery (EPR2) Conference Washington D.C. and presents the world premiere of the video version of the report "Exporting Harm" to the conference as well as to the participants of the National Electronic Product Stewardship Initiative (NEPSI). The film is shown twice and BAN is praised highly for contributing greatly to the overall electronics waste debate with its Asian investigation.

April

  • BAN represents all non-governmental environmental organizations in a special meeting of the Basel Convention held in Copenhagen to help draft and prioritize the strategic plan of the Basel Convention for the next ten years. BAN is instrumental in turning back an effort by Germany, Canada and Switzerland in hijacking the process to turn the Convention away from waste prevention and away from its goal of minimizing the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes.

May

  • BAN attends the 2002 IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment in San Francisco. BAN presents a paper and shows its film "Exporting Harm" and additionally gains support for its Recycler's Pledge of True Stewardship.
  • BAN also attend a series of four Basel Convention meetings in Geneva: The Technical Working Group, the Legal Working Group, the Joint Technical and Legal Working Groups as well as the Committee on Implementation. Highlights of the meetings included BAN's call for the Parties to use the Electronics hazardous waste trade issue as a test case on how to curb illegal traffic in hazardous waste; BAN's showing of its film "Exporting Harm"; and the return towards the goal of waste prevention in the Convention's Strategic Plan.
  • BAN also shows its film Exporting Harm to participants of the Recycling Council of British Columbia Conference held in Victoria, British Columbia in Canada.

June

  • Victory! -- China officially announces that they will further crack down on illegal imports of electronic wastes and call on exporting countries to take responsibility for their wastes. BAN also releases an award to Germany for being the first country in the world to have ratified all four of the most important treaties dealing with toxic pollution -- "The Package of Four".

July

  • Following New York City Officials halt of recycling programs and announcement that they might be pursuing exporting NYC garbage to a Caribbean country, BAN together in coalition with other key organizations released a press release vowing to block all such efforts.
  • BAN's video "Exporting Harm: The High-Tech Trashing of Asia" continues to sell briskly and becomes not only an educational coup but a fundraiser for BAN as well. It is shown on cable TV in Seattle and other cities as well.

August

  • BAN issues Action Alert, Press Release and Comments, roundly criticizing the US Environmental Protection Agency for ignoring the findings of Exporting Harm and issuing a ruling for managing cathode ray tube (computer and TV monitors) waste in a way that allows for absolutely no controls whatsoever on exporting these hazardous wastes.
  • China announces that it would be enforcing a longer list of previously banned imports of electronics wastes. This announcement is in response to the BAN/SVTC report "Exporting Harm".

September

  • BAN presents the Electronic Waste dumping story to the US National Recycling Coalition (NRC) at their annual meeting in Austin, Texas.
  • BAN and the Ban Mercury Working Group (co-founded by BAN) sends 4 representatives from around the world to the Global Mercury Assessment Working Group in Geneva, convened by the United Nations Environment Program. The meeting is a stunning success in that the United States is prevented from limiting the scope of the final assessment and the meeting concludes that mercury is a serious planetary threat warranting international action. The next step is determining what that action will be.
  • Responding to the "Exporting Harm" dumping, China responds by seizing hundreds of container loads of electronic wastes entering their ports. A government official stated, "Foreign exporters usually throw electronic garbage to our country by all means for ill purposes."
  • Thanks to generous grants from our supporting foundations, BAN hires another staffer, Sarah Westervelt to work on Electronic Waste dumping issue.

October

  • BAN releases report "Exporting Harm: The Canadian Story" revealing Canada's role in the export of toxic computers to Asia. The report is released in a press conference in Vancouver held in conjunction with the Society for the Promotion of Environmental Conservation (SPEC) following the airing of a major documentary featuring BAN and Electronic waste on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) Magazine Marketplace.
  • BAN helps prepare the visit of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Toxic Waste Dumping, to Canada and alerts her to the Kirkland Lake PCB incineration proposal of Bennett company as well as to Canada's role in the dumping of toxic electronic waste in Asia.

November

  • BAN releases an action alert to ask Canadian citizens to protest their government's policies on Waste Trade and the Basel Convention.
  • Victory! -- Following BAN's request that China officially notify the Basel Convention Secretariat of its electronic waste import ban, Canada announces to all of its recyclers and brokers that the export of electonic waste to China from Canada is prohibited.
  • BAN attends internationa gathering of activists as part of the congress of Interantional Campaign for Responsible Technology. Makes presentation on e-waste and Basel. Also film "Exporting Harm" is shown to very large gathering of students and faculty at San Jose State University.

December

  • BAN attends the Sixth Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention and presses there for a Strategic Plan that reflects the goals of the Basel Declaration -- that is an emphasis on waste prevention. BAN's Ravi Agarwal makes a presentation regarding electronic waste at the Ministerial Session.
  • BAN holds press conference at COP6 jointly with Greenpeace to denounce the plans of the United States to resume export of obsolete naval vessels laden with PCBs and asbestos to developing countries.

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Highlights of 2001

January

  • BAN attended first continental African conference on the disposal of hazardous wastes and obsolete pesticide stocks in Rabat, Morocco. BAN submitted a paper and made two presentations to delegates from all of Africa. The first was regarding civil society and the defeat of the Mozambique cement kiln and the other one was on rational policy for disposal of POPs and obsolete pesticides in Africa.

February

  • Victory! -- BAN together with coalition of activists in USA and India joined in celebrating the announcement that D.F. Goldsmith will return the used mercury already exported by ship to India and at the same time Congressman Allen of Maine announced plans to propose a bill in US Congress to prevent future exports of mercury stockpiles.

March

  • Victory! -- BAN together with its Parent organization, the Asia Pacific Environmental Exchange issued a press release following the announcement of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Commerce Department that they will appoint one environmental representative to the all-industry Chemical Industrial Sector Advisory Committee (ISAC 3). BAN/APEX had joined in a lawsuit one year ago to open up the all industry advisory committee and won the case. Initially the government was going to appeal however the Chairs of the Committee went to court in an effort to reverse that ruling and block the appointment.

April

  • BAN applauded the decision of the 57th Session of the United Nations’ Commission on Human Rights to renew the mandate to investigate the adverse effects of dumping of toxic wastes, and toxic products and moreover to expand it to include the transfer of toxic industries. BAN had helped considerably with the first phase of the investigation by the special UN rapporteur.
  • BAN moves into a new office in downtown Seattle!

May

  • BAN issues a country report card on the "Package of 4" international toxics treaties -- permanently updated and posted on our website.
  • Victory! -- Following several years of coalition campaigning against the retrofitting of a Mozambique cement kiln to burn obsolete pesticides and joining in an NGO sign-on letter, Danish Environment Minister Svend Auken announced that Denmark would no longer support the burning of obsolete pesticides in cement kilns.
  • Victory! -- The Federal judge hearing the industry appeal to attempt to eliminate any environmentalists from the trade advisory committee dismissed the industry case stating that the government was well within their rights to appoint an environmentalist to the committee. BAN/APEX had joined in the lawsuit to open up the advisory committee.
  • BAN issued global press release applauding China's very influential move to ratify the Basel Ban Amendment!
  • BAN attends the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the adoption of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in Stockholm, as well as the global meeting of the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN). BAN maintained a booth at the adoption conference with literature on the issues linking the Stockholm and Basel Conventions and participated in developing the action plans of the IPEN working group on POPs wastes.
  • BAN joins in Global Anti-Incineration Alliance (GAIA) press release declaring was against incineration in wake of signing of Stockholm Convention.

June

  • BAN attends very important meetings of the Technical Working Group (18th) and Legal Working Group (3rd) of the Basel Convention. These meetings launched the working group and agenda charged with determining the Environmentally Sound Management of POPs wastes and also covered important issues of plastic wastes, shipbreaking as well as the study analyzing the Basel Ban Amendment.

July

  • BAN attended and was one of the keynote speakers at the 2nd Annual "Waste Not Asia" Conference held in Taipei, Taiwan. The meeting was attended by about 50 toxics and waste activists from all over Asia. BAN spoke on the Basel and Stockholm Conventions and their utility to activists fighting waste trade and incinerators. BAN also took part with Waste Not Asia in a press conference in Taipei.

August

  • BAN organized and released to the press a major NGO sign-on letter in opposing US State Department plans to ratify only the original 1989 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal without ratifying a 1995 amendment to that treaty that effectively bans the dumping of hazardous wastes from developed to developing countries. The letter was signed by BAN, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club, Center for International Law and many other organizations.
  • BAN, together with the Mercury Policy Project formed a global activist network to work against the proliferation of mercury pollution, releases and exposure by forming the Ban Mercury Working Group or BAN-Hg-Wg. This global group established a list serve, internet newsletter, policy platform, informational listserve, website (www.ban.org/Ban-Hg-Wg/) and has elected representative from North and South and alternates. The BAN-Hg-Wg is designed first and foremost to provide a global NGO presence to work on the UNEP Global Mercury Assessment.

September

  • BAN participated in and presented to the Ship Recycling 2001 Conference, September 9-11 in Philadelphia. BAN prepared a powerpoint presentation for the panel on Current International Regulation and Policy.

October

  • BAN submits comments to Basel Convention to add section on waste avoidance to the Draft Plastics Waste Management Guidelines as well as text to prevent the guidelines from being in non-compliance with the Stockholm Convention. The Parties later decided to ignore these comments.
  • The BAN-Hg-Wg attends the Sixth International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant from October 16 - 19, 2001 in Japan and presents information regarding the newly formed NGO group.
  • BAN launches international survey of all countries regarding their efforts to ratify the Basel Convention and Basel Ban Amendment, the Stockholm Convention, The Rotterdam Convention and the London Convention Protocol.
  • BAN hires Sarah Westerveld to work on Electronic Waste Export research in the USA.

November

  • BAN and European Enviroment Bureau provide comments to the European Commission on the review of the European Waste Shipment Regulation.

December

  • BAN makes a field trip to Guiyu, China to investigate E-Waste imports for recycling. Shoots video, and stills, takes samples, conducts interviews. Finds devastating pollution.
  • BAN provides comments on the Basel Convention Technical Guidelines on Shipbreaking.

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Highlights of 2000

January

  • BAN releases report of Basel Convention COP5 and critique of the new Basel Convention Liability Protocol.
  • Following the revelation of a shipment of medical waste mixed with garbage that was exported illegally from Japan to the Philippines, BAN worked quickly with Greenpeace and co-authored editorials that were published in major newspapers in both Japan and the Philippines.

February

  • BAN participated as the sole NGO and made a feature presentation at a Basel Convention workshop held in Bratislava, Slovakia before government representatives of 16 Central and Eastern European countries. The topic of the workshop was promotion of ratification of the global waste dumping ban (Basel Ban Amendment).
  • In a short report and press conference held in Bangkok, Thailand, BAN with Greenpeace criticized the United Nations Center for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for their role in undermining the Basel Ban Amendment.

March

  • BAN alerted environmentalists in Nevada and journalists in Oregon that Taiwan multinational Formosa Plastics Group (FPG), despite claiming that they would not re-export the wastes previously dumped on Cambodia are still actively planning to sneak it into Nevada via Coos Bay, Oregon. Front Page stories result in Nevada. The Governor of Oregon tells the importing disposal firm to give up the plan. BAN continued to call for FPG to take responsibility for their own waste at their factory site in Taiwan.
  • BAN discovered and then joined with Greenpeace Netherlands in denouncing the secret export by Formosa Plastics Group of contaminated crushed barrels and equipment to the AVR incinerator in the Netherlands that were generated during the clean-up of their toxic illegal toxic waste dumping in Cambodia. BAN continued to call for FPG to take responsibility for their own waste at their factory site in Taiwan.
  • Victory! -- BAN learned of U.S. owned Canadian facility TCI's plans to import PCB waste from U.S. military bases in Japan in order to circumvent Canadian import ban. BAN and coalition raised the alarm and the Provincial Government forbid TCI from importing the waste after it was already loaded onto the ship "Wan He". BAN called for in situ chemical detoxification rather than export for incineration.

April

  • In a dramatic standoff making headlines for several days in Seattle, BAN was instrumental in forming a coalition of legal, labor and environmental groups to prevent the U.S. Defense Department from illegally importing military PCB wastes into Seattle for eventual incineration in poor southern USA communities. The attempt to import into Seattle followed rejection of waste by Canada. BAN argued for on-site chemical detoxification.
  • BAN attended Technical and Legal Working Group of Basel Convention in Geneva. BAN Submitted Comments on Technical Guidelines on Medical Wastes alerting delegations to problems of Persistent Organic Pollutant (POPs) by-products produced during incineration of medical wastes and advocated prevention for example by elimination of mercury use.

May

  • BAN did press work and wrote letters to the EPA blasting the US military for playing "Global Hide and Seek" with the PCB defense waste after their failed export to Canada from Japan resulted in further attempts to export the toxic waste to Guam, Johnston Atoll and finally Wake Island (where it remains to this day).
  • Victory! -- BAN joined with Earthjustice and other organizations in a lawsuit directed at the US Trade Respresentative's office for not providing representation from the environmental community in the Industrial Sector Advisory Committee (ISAC) for the Chemical and Allied Products Sector. This lawsuit leads to a victory in the courts – a settlement that one such representative is mandated.

June

  • Victory! -- BAN learned that Formosa Plastics Group is going to hold onto their mercury waste and treat it in_situ and pay compensation to the local community in Taiwan, thus achieving final victory on our objectives for the wastes dumped on Cambodia.
  • BAN submitted important and provocative comments on hazardous characteristic "H13" for hazardous wastes – which we argued will demand consideration of wastes destined for processes which will result in the formation of dioxins and furans.

July

  • BAN joined with Environmental Health Fund, PAN, and IPEN in a new initiative known as the Alternatives Implementation Group (AIG) which will promote alternatives to combustion methods of destroying POPs wastes and stockpiles. AIG will serve as NGO shepherd and watchdog of a new NGO sponsored! inititiative by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to conduct a pilot project on such destruction methods.
  • BAN prepared with IPEN members, a paper on Best Available Techniques for POPs waste and stockpiles Destruction for the Intergovernmental Negotiating Conference INC in Johannesburg, South Africa.

August

  • BAN alerted French NGO, CNIID to the real possibility that the US government will export their PCB waste to be burned at the Tredi incinerator there.
  • BAN discovered that the U.S. government held a meeting in Ottawa with Canadian officials in an attempt to explore options wherein Canada would accept the U.S. PCB waste they initially refused. BAN and Greenpeace joined together in press work to denounce this plan. The pressure led Canada to refuse to accept the waste later in September.

September

  • BAN discovered that Australia exported hazardous waste to South Africa in defiance of the spirit of the global ban on OECD to non-OECD waste dumping. Press condemnation by BAN and affiliates in both South Africa and Australia created significant pressure on South African Minister of Environment to respond personally. Despite his assurances that South Africa will respect the ban in future – vigilance is required.
  • BAN submitted to the Basel Convention a critique on the Guidelines for Multilateral and Bilateral agreements. Some countries such as Australia are hoping that such agreements can be used to circumvent the Basel Ban Amendment which forbids OECD to non-OECD waste dumping.
  • BAN blasted continuing efforts by a series of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) workshops to establish criteria that can be used to allow exceptions to the Basel Ban Amendment and allow countries to opt-out of the waste dumping ban. BAN boycotted the workshops and issued an alert to this effect to all Basel delegates and interested persons around the world.
  • Victory! -- BAN learned that a 3 year coalition campaign to prevent Danish Aid agency DANIDA and the government of Mozambique from burning obsolete pesticides by retrofitting a cement kiln in Matola, Mozambique is successful. BAN advocated not proliferating dioxin producting combustion disposal methods and instead utilize non-combustion methods.

October

  • Victory! -- BAN hired international legal expert and worked with certain European governments to put in place arguments to halt a new threat by the OECD to undermine the Basel Ban Amendment. BAN then attended the OECD Working Group on Waste Management Policy in Vienna and was the only environmental group represented. At the meeting some of our argumentation provided the basis for key countries to reject many months of work on this new "Consolidated Act".
  • BAN attended and actively participated in the 17th Technical Working Group of the Basel Convention in Geneva. BAN submitted critical Comments on the Draft Document on the Relationship Between the Basel Convention and the Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), "Hazardous Characteristic H13 - Its Meaning and Importance to the Basel Convention" as well as "The Basel Ban: The First Step Toward Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Wastes."
  • BAN attended and actively participated in 2nd Session Basel Convention Legal Working Group in Geneva and submitted Comments on the Draft Guidance Elements for Bilateral, Multilateral and Regional Agreements or Arrangements.

November

  • BAN learned that massive amounts of mercury would be exported from a defunct chlor-alkali plant in Maine to India. BAN helped to form international coalition to fight the plan.
  • BAN issued an international press release to blast a NAFTA tribunal decision to compensate the S. D. Meyers Company for profit losses due to a Canadian PCB export ban. The decision was the first trade agreement to openly undermine the Basel Convention and BAN was the only organization outside of Canada to publicly denounce this decision.

December

  • BAN affiliate groups attended the Fifth Intergovernmental Negotiating Conference of the new treaty on persistent organic pollutants and distributed a BAN briefing paper entitled ‘Warning: Basel Convention is Ill-Equipped to Deal with POPs Waste". This paper was very influential and helped ensure that both the POPs and Basel Convention will be involved in deciding policy and obligations on POPS waste.
  • BAN had article entitled "The Basel Treaty's Ban on Hazardous Waste Exports: An Unfinished Success Story published in influential trade journal – International Environment Reporter.
  • BAN joined in creating press furore in India and USA once it was revealed that part of the mercury shipment from the USA to India had already set sail for Bombay. BAN joined other groups in calling for its return.

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Highlights of 1999

January

  • BAN of India engaged in actions and extensive press work with Greenpeace in Netherlands, Spain, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore against shipbreaking, which helped push the issue to international prominence, ultimately helping governments to place the issue onto the agenda of the IMO and the Basel Conventions.
  • BAN rapidly responded to the international dumping scandal in Cambodia by visiting Cambodia for a field investigation. BAN helped local NGOs and the Cambodian government in their response to the crisis. We had several high-level meetings with government officials and opposition party leaders as well as a very well attended press conference calling for Cambodia to ban the import of hazardous waste, and to accede to the Basel Convention and the Basel Ban Amendment. Extensive Press work and editorials published to advocate for the Basel Convention and Ban. Produced model legislation for developing countries to ban imports of hazardous wastes and to implement the Basel Convention and Basel Ban Amendment

February

  • BAN provided comments to Cambodian Government on deal signed between Formosa Plastics and the government regarding toxic waste dumped in Cambodia. Released International Press Release with Greenpeace and Legal Aid of Cambodia condemning the final deal.

March

  • Victory! -- BAN worked in Coalition with California and Taiwanese Groups to have Formosa Plastics (FPG) Waste's California importation plans blocked. Ship loaded with repackaged waste is forced to set sail for Taiwan instead of California. BAN called for FPG to take responsibility for their wastes at home.

April

  • BAN attended with two representatives, the 15th Technical Working Group and 2nd Joint meeting of the Technical Working Group and the Consultative Sub-Group of Legal and Technical Experts for the Basel Convention. There BAN released 4 papers and addressed the issues of shipbreaking, clinical waste, and was instrumental in finalizing terms of reference for the Phase II study on Annex VII that is favorable toward maintaining and implementing the Basel Ban Amendment.
  • BAN attended the 9th Session of the Ad Hoc Group of Legal and Technical Experts to Consider and Develop a Draft Protocol on Liability, in Geneva. BAN released a paper on the draft liability protocol and worked strenuously for reform of the text.

May

  • Victory! -- Working with other groups, BAN succeeded in getting the proposed import of FPG waste from Taiwan to be rejected from disposal in the US state of Nevada. BAN continued to call for FPG to take responsibility for the waste at home.

June

  • BAN attended the 4th Session of the Open-Ended Ad Hoc Committee for the Implementation of the Basel Convention. There BAN and Greenpeace were able to insert the necessary language to achieve an emphasis on waste minimization and capacity building for developing countries in the first drafts of the Challenges for the Next Decade Declaration. BAN also released a paper entitled "Saving the Liability Protocol" signaling the serious flaws in the liability proposal.

July

  • Victory! -- BAN formed a unique coalition of environmental and labor groups and thus succeeded in halting the shipment of waste from FPG destined for Idaho. It was halted just hours before sailing with the help of the Longshoremen. BAN was instrumental in having the US government convene a special intra-regional panel on the FPG waste and the larger issue of waste imports.

August

  • BAN attended the 10th Session of the Open-Ended Ad Hoc Group of Legal and Technical Experts to Consider and Develop a Draft Protocol on Liability with two representatives including legal counsel. BAN worked actively with key Parties to expose serious issues impacting developing countries in particular, releasing 2 floor position papers and a renewed paper on the flaws of the protocol.

September

  • BAN attended as sole NGO representative, special drafting group meeting held in Bern, Switzerland for the "Challenges for the Next Decade Declaration and Decision." There was able to ensure that waste minimization was considered integral to Environmentally Sound Management and that it was moreover to be emphasized.

November

  • Victory! -- After discovering that FPG waste dumped on Cambodia was proposed for export to France, BAN alerted French affiliate groups in September. In November BAN and affiliate group CNIID forced the rejection of the waste from France.
  • Released via Seattle press conference and international release, a report entitled: "When Trade is Toxic: The WTO Threat to Public and Planetary Health". This ground breaking report on the interface between toxics issues and the WTO, emphasized in particular issues of toxic trade and the threat of the WTO to the Basel Convention, the proposed POPs treaty and the ability for governments to ban the use, manufacture and trade in POPs and other toxic chemicals.
  • BAN helped launch WTO billboard Campaign in Seattle. BAN's billboard asked the Question: WTO: Promoting a Free Trade in Toxic Wastes? It showed African children sitting on waste barrels.
  • BAN attended Seattle WTO meeting and participated in numerous NGO workshops on toxics issues, protests, marches and press conferences.

December

  • BAN attended Basel Conference of Parties -- 10th anniversary meeting with 4 representatives including 2 legal experts. BAN was able to ensure that the "Next Decade" Decision and Declaration retained the emphasis on waste minimization and was able to plant the idea of a pilot project on POPs destruction. BAN member Ravi Agarwal was panelist in a Clean Production Side Workshop. BAN distributed 4 updated briefing papers and the WTO Toxic Trade report. BAN conducted a Press Conference with Greenpeace on the outcome of the meeting.

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