Environmental group seeks ban on garbage imports after South Korean trash shipment

Environmental group seeks ban on garbage imports after South Korean trash shipment
A representative of Verde Soko Philippines declined to discuss why the shipped items were wrongly declared.

MANILA, Philippines— An environmental group is urging the Philippines government to disallow the shipment of garbage into the country.

“It’s high time for the Philippines to disallow garbage imports and to demand that developed countries, as well as manufacturers of plastics and other disposable goods, take full responsibility for their products throughout their whole life cycle,” EcoWaste National Coordinator Aileen Lucero said in a statement.

“The illegal garbage shipments from Canada misrepresented as recyclable plastic scraps, which are still in our country,” she added.

The group said ban of the importation of plastic garbage “should form part of the government’s efforts to improve existing regulations to avoid a repeat of the Canadian garbage saga.”

EcoWaste made the call after ABS-CBN reported that tons of garbage shipped arrived in the country.

This trash-loaded ship from South Korea reportedly arrived at Mindanao International Container Terminal last July.

READ: Tons of garbage from South Korea reportedly shipped to the Philippines

Documents obtained by Customs official showed that the garbage shipment was consigned by South Korean company Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation. It was incorrectly declared as “plastic synthetic flakes.”

Due to this, EcoWaste also slammed the garbage shipment, citing that it is “outrageous and unacceptable.”

 “We find this latest incident of plastic waste dumping outrageous and unacceptable.  Why do we keep on accepting garbage from other countries when we know that our country’s plastic waste, which is literally everywhere, is spilling to the oceans and endangering marine life?,” Lucero said.

“We also find it ironic that while South Korea is taking action to control its plastic waste, including banning plastic bags in supermarkets starting October this year, and yet its unwanted plastics are being sent abroad,” she added.

Between 2013 to early 2014, around 103 container vans containing garbage from Canada arrived. The garbage load arrived under the guise of recycling.

About half of the trash was reportedly dumped in Capas, Tarlac.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last year vowed solve the issue of garbage from Canada that was shipped to the Philippines. However, despite his declaration of commitment, the issue has still has not been resolved. —Rosette Adel

READ: Trudeau: Canada committed to cleaning up garbage dumping issue

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