Monday, 19 August, 2019

Cambodia probes Chinese firm over illegal waste imports:The Asahi Shimbun

A container opened by officials at Sihanoukville port in Cambodia was found to contain about 1,600 tonnes of waste plastic 'Not a bin': Cambodia to return plastic waste to US, Canada
Sandra Phillips | 21 July, 2019, 09:26

Cambodia will send 1,600 tonnes of plastic waste back to the United States and Canada, an official said on Wednesday, the latest Southeast Asian country to signal it will not accept rubbish shipped from Western nations.

But several countries have pushed back.

The export of waste to Asian countries has become a major regional challenges after China, which had previously been the main destination, has banned the deployment on its territory nearly all foreign plastic waste in the beginning of past year. Developed nations have been left stumped trying to find suitable countries to send their trash to.

"Cambodia is not a dustbin where foreign countries can dispose of out-of-date e-waste, and the government also opposes any import of plastic waste and lubricants to be recycled in this country", Pheaktr said.

The discovery of waste on Tuesday was the result of statements made last week, Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Cabinet meeting that Cambodia is not a dumping ground for any kind of waste and prohibits the import of any types of plastic waste and other recyclable materials. The country's environment ministry spokesperson, Neth Pheaktra told AFP that they were sending back the rubbish to its origins.

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This is the second time for such a large amount to be found in Cambodia, following the first case in 1998 in which some 3,000 tons of toxic waste were found dumped on the outskirts of Sihanoukville.

The shipments were a "serious insult", Transparency International Cambodia executive director Preap Kol said in a Facebook post.

The containers had been arriving over a period since October 2018, Nhim said.

This simply adds to the country's domestic issues with creating plastic waste -there's little infrastructure in place and nearly no general awareness of the pressing issue.

There have been problems arising from toxic waste landing on these Southeast Asian shores as electronic waste is also a problem. "We will send those rubbish-filled containers back to their original sources".

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