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DENR pushes for alternative mining

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019

Mining site

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) pushes for alternative mining in order to care for the country’s environment.

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu encourages mining engineers to find ways to mine without harming the environment. Cimatu added that they are looking into surface mining as one of the alternatives.

“As long as you don’t destroy it, instead if you are able to get the mineral content then you resurface it at the same time make sure na ang mga water na dumadaan doon hindi mapupunta sa unless being treated muna, (make sure the water will be treated first)” he said.

Meanwhile, the environment secretary assured there are sufficient materials for the government’s Build Build Build Program.

Cimatu said the country has enough supply of cement, and aggregate materials including sand, stone, and steel bars.

“Sufficient naman iyan (That is sufficient) in fact the aggregates are doing well and we are allowing the quarrying in some rivers but will make sure that na hindi masisira ang river, (the rive will not be damaged)” he said.—(with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

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LIST: School supplies containing lead, cadmium

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Courtesy: EcoWaste Coalition

EcoWaste Coalition has listed several school supplies containing cadmium and lead which are harmful to students.

The environment group alerted consumers against purchasing school supplies laced with hazardous substances such as cadmium and lead.

“While many school supplies are generally harmless, there are some items that contain undisclosed chemicals that are banned or restricted in children’s toys because of their harmful effects on children’s health and the environment, too,” stated Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) lead and cadmium are included in the list of “10 chemicals of major public health concern.”

Among the samples found to contain high concentrations of lead were:

  1. An Artex Fine Water Colors (bright yellow cake), 86,000 ppm
  2. A yellow painted metal water container with Minions design, 65,500 ppm
  3. A red coated hair clip, 42,600 ppm
  4. A yellow painted metal water container with Rabbit design, 39,300 ppm
  5. A yellow coated hair clip, 15,800 ppm
  6. A backpack with Ultraman design, 12,100 ppm
  7. An MPC Classique Water Colors (light yellow cake), 4,914 ppm
  8. A bag tag with a Doraemon design, 3,659 ppm
  9. A yellow Fairyland crayon, 3,191 ppm
  10. A bag tag with Superman design, 2,361 ppm
  11. A backpack with Ben 10 design, 1,908
  12. A backpack with Hello Kitty design, 1,879 ppm

“Parents should be on the lookout for these items that may contain hazardous chemicals such as cadmium, lead, and phthalates,” Dizon said.

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EcoWaste slams botched plastic waste shipment from Hong Kong

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019

Courtesy : Ecowaste Coalition Facebook page

EcoWaste Coalition slammed the mixed plastic waste shipment found at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental from Hong Kong.

During the inspection of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Region 10
led by port collector John Simon on Wednesday (May 22), they found a 40- footer container van. It contained 22 sling bags weighing 25,610 kilograms of mixed plastic waste instead of the declared “assorted electronic accessories.”

“We denounce this latest attempt to bring into the country over 25 tons of mixed plastic waste from Hong Kong amid our nation’s ongoing efforts to send back similar illegal waste shipments from Canada and South Korea,” according to Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

Reports say the shipment arrived in the country last January 2, 2019.
The cargo was shipped by Hin Yuen Tech. Env. Limited and was consigned to Crowd Win Industrial Limited.

The BOC Region 10 already issued an alert order and a warrant of seizure and detention on February 19 and March 7, 2019 in violation of Section 1400 (misdeclaration) in relation to Section 117 (lack of permit) of Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

EcoWaste also reported that the BOC Region 10 will also initiate an action to re-export of the illegal shipment back to Hong Kong.

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On World Turtle Day: Meet the odd “bum-breathing” turtle

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019

May 23 was World Turtle Day!

via GIPHY

To celebrate, meet the white-throated snapping turtle (Elseya albagula), or also known as the bum-breathing turtle.

These turtles are native to Connors River in Queensland, Australia. It prefers to live in clean, free-flowing water.

Given by its nickname, they have the ability to breath out of their anus. The process is called cloacal respiration which allows the turtles to extract oxygen directly from the water.

Meaning they can dive up to three hours to search for yummy aquatic plants.

Amazing.

via GIPHY

Aside from eating plants, they also eat a few species of insects. They lay 13 eggs for each batch and weighs around 5 kilograms. Like most turtles they can also live up to 100 years old.

But sadly, they are among the fresh water turtles that are critically endangered.

via GIPHY

The Australian Government’s Department of Environment and Energy listed the white-throated snapping turtle as critically endangered. This is due to various construction projects like dams.

Among the over 250 species of freshwater turtles, over half of them are at risk of extinction due to threats of habitat destruction, hunting and illegal trafficking.

READ: 1 million species threatened with extinction, study says

According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) majority of the earth’s wetlands have been lost which includes the habitat of these fresh water turtles.

“We’ve converted large amounts of our forests, we’ve converted large amounts of our grasslands, we’ve lost 87% of our wetlands… we’ve really changed our land surface in the last several hundred years,” IPBES chairman Robert Watson said.

What should we do?

Love the planet, save the environment.

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