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Environment groups slam waste imports in Indonesia

The international waste trade watchdog organisation Basel Action Network, together with Indonesian environmental organizations Ecoton, WALHI and Nexus3 want action to prevent illegal waste imports into the country

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Environment groups slam waste imports in Indonesia

The situation in Indonesia is described as "dire and out-of-control and can only be resolved by the Indonesian Government dealing more responsibly with the illegal shipments that have already arrived and enacting a full prohibition on future imports." (Photo left is from Reuters).

Last week the groups stated that many of the illegal, contaminated shipments of paper scrap the government promised to send back to the US were instead re-exported to India, Vietnam, Thailand, Mexico, Netherlands, Canada and South Korea.


"Under the Basel Convention, Indonesia should have taken strict control over the re-export of the illegal waste shipments," said Yuyun Ismawati Drwiega of Nexus3. "Yet, not only did the government break their promise to return them, it appears they failed to notify the receiving country governments or ensure that they would be managed in an environmentally sound manner as required by the treaty."


Jim Puckett, Director of BAN, said: "Without properly involving the country of origin, or taking the steps to prosecute Basel Convention violators, the criminality will just continue, and more containers will keep coming to pollute Indonesia.


"The waste invasion of Indonesia began soon after China banned the import of almost all wastes two years ago. China’s solution to pollution has now become Indonesia’s nightmare."


Imports of plastic waste alone went up by over 140% last year to 283,000 tons following the ban on imports by China. At the beginning of August, 19 containers with British waste including landfill, plastics and hazardous materials in violation of import rules were returned to the UK.

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