Call for volunteering in Albania

EDEN Center is looking for 1 volunteer from Germany to attend for a long-term EVS (from now - until September 2019) in Tirana, Albania - to be involved in environmental education and best environmental management practices activities in Tirana.

Please read below the impressions from Erona Tasholli, our actuall EVS in EDEN center, to be more enthusiatic for the right choice you are making.

I am Erona and I am writing to present a fantastic opportunity to do an EVS in Tirana with us in the EDEN Center until September!
I am here myself and feel very well - my colleagues support me in every way, they have made a lot of effort since the beginning of me, I have a great, centrally locatedcall for EVS apartment, am always involved in numerous projects, travel through Albania, but sometimes further (eg Belgium) and everything in the name of environmental protection!
As one of the most active environmental organizations in Albania, there is always something to do here, and Tirana itself offers an inexpensive yet great lifestyle, with the beach 30 minutes away, kind people and many young volunteers from the area you can have a great social life with and certainly never be alone :)
If interested, contact…. The sooner, the better.

Best regards,

To know more how to apply please click the link here for the english version and here for the german version.

This is a unique opportunity for you, so hurry up:). APPLY NOW!
See you soon!


Participatory society in decision making!

decision-making: The right to make a decision.

The role of civil society is consistently complemented by the legal framework to increase the impact on the decision making process in the environmental sector. The legal framework in this sector is supported actively by the Law 119 "On the right to information" or for the process of Environmental Impact Assessment with DCM "On the definition of rules, requirements and procedures for informing and involving the public in environmental decision-making ".

EDEN Center together with the 4 partner organizations are the implementing organizations of the project "Participating Society in Decision-Making" degjeseand have intensively pursued 20 public hearings in 5 cities of Albania during March 2017- September 2018 (7 hearing for Environmental Impact Assessment reports, 7 environmental permits hearings and 6 Environmental Strategic Assessment). It is appreciated, all the efforts of paying attention to public consultation according to the legal framework, but the process has many shortcomings, both in the way of notification, the development of the public consultations, and the content of report presented in this hearing. In order for the process to be of the highest quality and to strengthen the implementation of the relevant legal framework, during the participation of the organizations to the public hearings are observed some key moments for which a rapid intervention is needed.

Notification approach: electronic forms cannot be considered as one of the main way of notification, all other means must be used to reach the public; the Regional Environment Directorates (DRMs) website should contain all correct information on public hearing about the exact location of the hearing and the accompanying documentation for the hearing should be easily downloaded from their website.

Development and quality of the reports: EIA reports should increase the quality of their content both in writing and in content. The language should bedegjese 2 easily from the public. To read and made sound comments to an EIA report it can be used the "Checklist for review of environmental impact assessment studies"  developed under the CO-SEED project. The AKM (National Environment Agency) website should make transparent the minutes of the DRMs and also make transparent and the arguments for not taking into account the comments sent for the consulted reports.

These are some of the key issues raised that were addressed to the National Environmental Agency on 31/10/2018 by a letter.
For more information, read: "Summary of Project Implementation Cases and Letter to the National Environment Agency"  and you can watch the video in TV "The silent public".

The project "Participating Society in Decision Making" November 2016 - October 2018 has been implemented in Albania by the Environmental Center for Development, Education and Networking (EDEN) in Tirana; Elbasan Ecological Club (KEE) in Elbasan; For Social and Environmental Welfare (PMSM) in Berat; Aarhus Information Center (AIC) Shkodra, in Shkodra; Center for Research, Collaboration and Development (CRCD) in Vlora. The project is supported by the project " Civil society acts for environmentally sound socio-economic development (CO – SEED) "  with EU funds and implemented by INCA.

Workshopi për ndryshimet klimatike

Qendra Mjedisore EDEN organizon ditën e shtunë, datë 17 Nëntor, workshop-in me temë: “Ndryshimet Print YEE WorkshopPosters Languages A3 EDEN Albanian Logo 2klimatike dhe marrëveshjet në kuadrin e ndryshimeve klimatike”.  Ky workshop realizohet ne kuader te fushates "Take a Green stand" nga Youth and Environment Europe.

Inkurajojme të gjithë të rinjtë nga mosha 18-30 vjeç, të cilët janë të interesuar në çështjet që kanë lidhje me mbrojtjen e mjedisit, ndryshimet klimatike dhe marrëveshjet ndërkombëtare në kuadrin e ndryshimeve klimatike, të bëhen pjesë e këtij workshop-i duke plotesuar aplikimin ne kete link:


Press Release

 Press Release

October 17, 2018 (10:01 am CET)

Attn: Environment, Policy, Health Editors

European Study Shows Toxic E-Waste Chemicals Contaminate Children’s Products Through Recycling /  Banned Brominated Flame retardants Found Also in Toys and Hair Accessories from France

Here you can find the report of our study!  

LOCATION - Environmental health researchers released alarming evidence today that toxic brominated flame retardants, hazardous chemicals from electronic waste that are known to disrupt thyroid function and cause neurological and attention deficits in children, are contaminating recycled plastics in consumer products across Europe.  

The study, an analysis of 109 toys, hair accessories and kitchen utensils showed that 107 items (98%) contained measurable concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and 80 samples (73%) contained hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD).

Laboratory analysis of 4 hair accessories samples from Albania found 3 samples contained OctaBDE at concentrations ranging from 2 to 57 ppm and DecaBDE at concentrations ranging from 34 to 1048 ppm. Overall, the results indicate that toxic flame retardant chemicals found in e-waste are present on Albanian market in consumer products made of recycled plastic. This includes substances listed in the Stockholm Convention for global elimination (OctaBDE and DecaBDE).

At the end of life of those products, the provisional POPs waste limit would be applied. The waste limit is currently defined by the Stockholm Convention as either 50 ppm or 1000 ppm. If the limit was applied at the protective level of 50 ppm, one product would fall into the POPs waste class because of the Octa-BDE concentration of 57 ppm.

“Toxic plastics containing brominated flame retardants in levels over 50 ppm should be considered hazardous waste,” said Arnika – Toxics and Waste Programme Executive Director and IPEN Dioxin, PCBs and Waste Working Group co-chair Jindrich Petrlik. “Only a strict hazardous waste limit can close the toxic loophole as it would require toxic plastics to be removed from the waste recycling stream.”

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and (HBCDs) are toxic flame retardants that are among the 28 most hazardous chemicals on the planet because of their persistency in the environment. PBDEs were found in the casings and wire insulation of old electronics and HBCD appeared in polystyrene foams and plastics for electronics and cars.

Said Jitka Strakova, Arnika’s researcher specialised in POPs and lead author of the study: “A child’s endocrine system does not care if a toy is made from new or recycled plastic when it is being disrupted from toxic PBDE. The only way to protect people from hazardous chemicals in recycled e-waste is to close this recycling loophole and keep hazardous waste out of recycled plastic.”

Stressing that recycling exemptions for PBDEs amounts to a double standard for plastics, the researchers, public health advocates and NGOs, including EDEN Center called on the ALBANIA TO PLAY ITS PART IN ENSURING THAT THE European Union (EU) requires that recycled plastics meet the same standard as new plastics.

The “Toxic Loophole: Recycling Hazardous Waste into New Products” study was conducted by Arnika, HEAL and IPEN.  430 samples were collected in the following countries: European Union Member States (Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden) and surrounding Central and Eastern European countries (Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Russia, and Serbia) between April and July 2018.  109 products were then further analyzed for concentrations of specific brominated flame retardant chemicals by the laboratory of the Prague University of Chemistry and Technology.


 In the Annex

Sample type


Sample ID












1 9









Claws clamps


5 877

2 307








aws clamps


6 340

2 272


1 048

1 105




Banana clip


1 319







Toxic Loophole: Recycling Hazardous Waste into New Products

Toxic Loophole: Recycling Hazardous Waste into New Products
Executive summary
This report found that consumer products, including toys, made from recycled electronic waste are contaminated with toxic chemicals. Product testing by Arnika, HEAL, IPEN and 17 other European organisations showed items on sale in Europe contained flame retardant chemicals, which are found in electronic waste and are restricted on health and environmental grounds. The report calls for closure of the loophole in EU legislation that allows products made from recycled waste to contain these contaminants. It outlines the changes in EU and international policy that would allow proper implementation of the Stockholm Convention to protect health and the environment by setting strict limit values for defining waste as being hazardous (POPs waste) and disallowing it there for export and toxic recycling.
The study

Between April and June 2018, 430 plastic items including toys, hair accessories, kitchen utensils and other consumer products were purchased in stores and markets in both European Union Member States (Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden) and surrounding Central and Eastern European countries (Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Russia, and Serbia). All items were screened with a handheld XRF analyser showing that 109 samples (25%) had an elevated level of bromine and antimony indicating recycled plastic, most likely from e-waste.
E-waste contains bromine compounds that are used as flame retardants in electronic equipment. The compounds include polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs, such as OctaBDE and DecaBDE. These two substances are of primary interest in this study because, although highly hazardous to health and the environment, they are permitted in consumer items made from recycled waste materials in the European Union.
All countries providing samples for the study are required to eliminate PBDEs from production and use. OctaBDE and DecaBDE and HBCD are listed in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, a Convention which aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Only the European Union, and 5 other countries around the globe have allowed recycling exemptions.
In order to support its toxic recycling policy, EU also uses and promotes higher limits for PBDEs and HBCD classification of material as hazardous waste. So called Low POPs Content levels determine if material is classified as hazardous waste and shall be decontaminated. Only low enough POPs content limits can ensure separation of hazardous waste from the recycling stream. A protective low POPs content limit will also prevent contaminated waste from being exported from developed countries to Asian and African developing countries where environmentally sound waste disposable practices are quite rare.

Of the original samples collected, 109 items were identified as likely to be containing flame retardants originating in recycled e-waste. More detailed chemical analysis revealed that:
- 94 samples (86%) contained OctaBDE at concentrations ranging from 1 to 161 ppm
- 50 sample (46%) exceeded the limit for OctaBDE concentrations of 10 ppm (EU Regulation on POPs for products that are made of new rather than recycled plastics)
- 100 samples (92%) contained DecaBDE at concentrations ranging from 1 to 3310 ppm
- The highest measured concentrations of PBDEs were found in children’s toys, followed by hair accessories and kitchen utensils. A toy guitar from Portugal had the highest concentration of PBDEs (3318 ppm or 0.3% of product weight).

Health risks

Among the adverse impacts of PBDEs, endocrine disruption is a particular public health concern. PBDEs are known to disrupt human thyroid function affecting the developing brain and causing long-term neurological damage. Research shows PBDE exposure to be associated with poorer attention in children as well as hyperactivity.
Contamination of children’s toys is especially worrying because children often put things in their mouths. It is unacceptable that toys, which are supposed to develop children’s motor skills and intellectual capacity, such as plastic puzzles and Rubik’s cubes, also expose them to toxic chemicals that have the very opposite, neurotoxic effects.
Food can be contaminated because PBDEs and HBCD can easily migrate from cooking items. PBDEs and HBCD in any product containing recycled plastics adds to all existing exposure paths, including via household dust.

The results indicate that toxic flame retardant chemicals are passed from e-waste into recycled consumer products on sale in the European Union and Central and Eastern European markets.
Ironically, if the products analysed in this study were made of virgin plastics instead of recycled materials, almost half (50 samples) would not meet the EU Regulation on POPs (OctaBDE concentrations must not exceeded the regulatory limit of 10 ppm). These different standards for PBDE content in virgin and recycled articles result from weak legislative thresholds for POPs waste and recycling exemptions in the Stockholm Convention listing of PentaBDE and OctaBDE. The legislative loopholes are motivated by recycling targets that ignore the consequences of contaminating new products during recycling, which continues the legacy of PBDE emissions and exposures.
The case of PBDEs illustrates an inconsistency in legislation on chemicals, products, and waste in the European Union. The study also reveals that consumer products made from recycled waste and containing toxic chemicals are not only on sale in the EU Member States, which make use of recycling exemptions for PBDEs, but are also on the market in Central and Eastern Europe. EU recycling goals are globalised through the international conventions – that means that hazardous e-waste is finding its way across state boundaries via recycling workshops back into recycled products. This loophole, hidden from public view, is threatening the health and lives of children, consumers, workers employed in recycling workshops and nearby residents as well as other vulnerable groups.

Policy recommendations
To close the toxic loophole, the following seven policy interventions are essential.

1. Withdraw the recycling exemptions for materials that contain PentaBDE and OctaBDE under the Stockholm Convention and in the EU POPs Regulation
During the Stockholm Convention, COP9, in 2019 the EU should withdraw its registration for the PentaBDE and OctaBDE recycling exemptions and encourage the small number of other Parties registered for those exemptions to do the same. The EU POPs regulation should be modified accordingly. This is an essential step to prevent contamination of new products with PBDEs and a key measure to achieve a truly circular economy, which must be non-toxic for the environment and for human health.
2. Stop undermining the global elimination aims of the Stockholm Convention in the EU

As the principle objective of the Stockholm Convention is to protect human health and the environment from POPs, the European Parliament should adopt a more protective standard of 10 ppm for DecaBDE content in articles made of recycled materials.
3. Set environment- and health-protective limits for POPs wastes under the Basel Convention and EU POPs Regulation
The EU should take the initiative to advocate for lowering the currently proposed hazardous waste limit of 1000 ppm for PBDEs and for HBCD to the scientifically and environmentally sound limits. These would be 50 ppm for PBDEs and 100 ppm for HBCD in the Basel and Stockholm Conventions and the EU POPs regulation. Only this low POPs content limit can help ensure separation of hazardous waste from the recycling stream. Protective low POPs content limits will also prevent waste export and waste disposal options, which cannot be considered environmentally sound.
4. Stop e-waste export from Europe to developing and transition countries under Basel Convention provisions
E-waste must be clearly designated as hazardous. The EU should support modifications to the Basel Convention e-waste guidelines to prevent e-waste export to countries that lack regulatory infrastructure and technical and economic capacities for hazardous waste management.
5. Streamline restrictions for POPs, avoid regrettable substitutes, and speed up the authorisation process under the REACH Regulation
The entire group of halogenated flame retardants should be restricted under the REACH legislation to avoid replacement of PBDEs and other halogenated substances with regrettable substitutes. No exemptions, derogations, or transitional periods for restrictions or authorisations should be given for recycled materials or spare parts containing POPs.
6. Implement separation techniques to remove toxic chemicals from wastes and non-combustion technologies for POPs destruction
Until products are produced without toxic substances, separation techniques should be used to remove PBDEs and other toxic substances before recycling. The EU should implement non-combustion techniques for the destruction of POPs and advocate for their adoption in relevant Stockholm and Basel Convention working groups.
7. Publish the promised non-toxic environment strategy to guarantee a truly non-toxic circular economy and benefits for environment and health
To deliver on its commitment under the Seventh Environment Action Programme and progress on creating a circular economy, the EU in 2018 should publish a strategy for moving towards a non-toxic environment, including a clear commitment to keep chemicals of concern (e.g. flame retardants and other endocrine disruptors among others) out of products from the start due to their harmful impacts on vulnerable populations, such as infants, small children and pregnant women.