Published: Sun, July 21, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Cambodia says plastic waste shipments came from US, Canada

Cambodia says plastic waste shipments came from US, Canada

The latest tonnes of rubbish were discovered on Tuesday in Cambodia's Sihanoukville port, in a large shipping container.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of environment of Cambodia reported that, in the main seaport of the country was discovered nearly eight dozens of shipping containers filled with plastic waste, which came from the United States and Canada.

Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the total weight of the waste found in 83 containers in Sihanoukville, the country's main port, was 1,600 tons.

The complications began previous year when China banned foreign plastic waste shipment imports, throwing global recycling into chaos.

Net Pheaktra reported that 70 containers were sent from the United States and 13 came from Canada.

In a well-publicized case in May, the Philippines sent 69 containers of household waste and electronic garbage - which had been marked as recyclable plastics - back to Canada, ending a protracted diplomatic spat. "Cambodia is not the rubbish bin for other countries to dispose of any kind of waste".

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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.

The Cambodian harbour authorities were shocked to find 83 containers weighing 1600 tonnes of plastic wastes and have started an investigation to ascertain the local companies involved in the importation.

He said it remains to be seen whether the trash can be sent back to the countries of origin.

China's decision past year to ban imports of foreign plastic waste threw global recycling into chaos, leaving developed nations struggling to find countries where they could send their rubbish. He also signalled Cambodia's readiness to prohibit the import of any kinds of plastic waste or other recyclables.

Cambodia also has a severe problem with plastic waste it generates domestically, with little public awareness of the problem or infrastructure to deal with it.

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