Philippines ships back Hong Kong waste

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Philippines ships back Hong Kong waste
Groups signify their opposition to foreign waste dumping during the send-off ceremonies for the seized mixed plastic waste shipment from Hong Kong.
EcoWaste Coalition / Released

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines again asserted that it is not a dumping ground as it sent a container van loaded with mixed garbage back to Hong Kong on Monday.

According to environmental watchdog EcoWaste Coalition, SITC Nagoya, the ship carrying the 25,610 kilograms of plastic scraps and shredded gadgets and computers from Hong Kong, has left the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

The return of trash to Hong Kong happened barely a week after the country finally sent 69 containers of dumped garbage to Canada.

“Today, we are shipping back one container of mixed garbage consisting mostly of plastic scraps and shredded electronic parts to their source. The export of this hazardous waste from Hong Kong in the guise of ‘assorted electronic accessories’ is illegal under the laws of Hong Kong and the Philippines and the Basel Convention,” Customs port collector John Simon said.

“By quickly returning the illegal waste shipment and skipping bureaucratic delay, our nation is sending a clear and unambiguous warning to waste traffickers to stop sending other countries’ wastes into our ports,” Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator, said.

The shipment arrived at the Mindanao Container Terminal on January 2 but it was only discovered on May 22. It was exported by Hin Yuen Tech. Env. Limited, consigned to Crowd Win Industrial Limited Corp. and was brokered by Yolanda Mondragon Narandan.

Ban on waste imports

EcoWaste and Greenpeace Philippines renewed their call for the implementation of a comprehensive ban on waste imports and the rapid ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment.

The Basel Ban Amendment aims to prohibit the export of hazardous wastes and other wastes from developed to developing countries for any reason, including recycling.

“However, we also need to plug internal holes in the system—whether faulty regulations, inadequate monitoring, or corruption.  Otherwise, we will continue to be at the receiving end of waste shipments—and worse, unable to hold responsible countries and parties accountable,” Lea Guerrero, Greenpeace Philippines country director, said.

Rep. Juliette Uy (Misamis Oriental) filed a bill calling for a total ban on the import and export of garbage Monday morning.

The country is “awash with millions of tons of solid wastes, liquefied wastes, and toxic wastes. Our rivers, lakes, seashores, and seas are massively polluted by these wastes. Our cities, factories, and homes produce garbage like there's no tomorrow,” she said in the explanatory note of House Bill 9207.



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