Greenpeace Statement for World Water Day 2013

Press release - March 22, 2013
“Today we remember those who are suffering from industrial water pollution and celebrate the bravery, passion and persistence of the people around the world working tirelessly to create a toxic-free tomorrow,” said Tianjie Ma, Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace East Asia.

“Just last month the Chinese government acknowledged for the first time the existence of 'cancer villages' linked to pollution from hazardous chemicals, and voiced their willingness to address toxic water pollution in an open and transparent manner,” said Ma.

“The fashion industry also has a crucial role to play in creating a toxic-free future, and as one of the major contributors toward toxic pollution, the textile industry needs to both take responsibility for the issue and work to champion  solutions.”

Launched in July 2011, Greenpeace’s Detox campaign has managed to convince seventeen international brands, including Zara, Levi’s and Victoria’s Secret, to commit to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their supply chains and products. Around the world, a group of fashionistas, designers and activists has joined together to demand fashion without pollution.

“We want to prevent ‘cancer villages’ in our own backyard,” said Abigail Aguilar, Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “Like China, the Philippines has the same problems with regard to irresponsible industrial chemicals dumping in our water resources, exposing Filipinos living along waterways to the same health hazards.  So as long as there are industries who continue polluting our water resources, we will continue to expose their toxic ways and make them accountable to the public, “said Aguilar.

In the Philippines alone, chemical pollution is quickly taking its toll on our limited supply of fresh water. A lethal cocktail of hazardous chemicals are being dumped daily into such major water sources as the Laguna Lake and the Pasig River.  Data from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Philippines showed that out of the 127 freshwater bodies that they sampled, 47% percent were found to have good water quality. However, 40% of those sampled were found to have only fair water quality, while 13% showed poor water quality.

“The time to act is now. Government must implement a pollution disclosure system which industries must comply withUntil then, we will continue to expose the industry’s toxic ways and make them accountable to the public,“said Aguilar.

Greenpeace’s Detox campaign demands fashion brands commit to zero discharge of all hazardous chemicals by 2020 and require their suppliers to disclose all releases of toxic chemicals from their facilities to communities at the site of the water pollution.

Media contact:
Abigail Aguilar, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Mobile: 09157114893       Email:

Therese Salvador, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Mobile: 0917-8228734      Email:

Notes to editor:
The Greenpeace East Asia documentary on local campaigner combatting water pollution in China can be viewed here: For video requests, contact the Greenpeace International Video Desk hotline: +31 (0) 20718 2472

A full photo set can be viewed here: photo requests, contact: Greenpeace International Photo Desk, Desk Hotline: +31 20 718 2471, email: Alex Yallop