Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia has returned five containers of rubbish to the US and will not become a “dumping ground”, said local officials.
Senior environment ministry official Sayid Muhadhar told the press on June 15 that the containers were supposed to contain only paper scrap, according to the customs documents. Instead they were loaded with other waste including bottles, plastic waste, and diapers.
The five containers – owned by a Canadian company – were shipped from Seattle in the US to Indonesia’s second biggest city Surabaya in late March, Muhadhar said.
It was not immediately clear where the rubbish originated from.
Indonesia is currently examining several other containers in Jakarta’s port and the city of Batam near Sumatra island.
It is the latest country to return imported rubbish after neighbouring Malaysia vowed to ship back hundreds of tonnes of plastic waste last month.
The Philippines has ordered tonnes of garbage dumped in the country to be shipped back to Canada, sparking a diplomatic row between the two countries.
For years China received the bulk of scrap plastic from around the world, but closed its doors to foreign refuse last year in an effort to clean up its environment.
Huge quantities of waste have since been redirected to Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Around 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced every year. Much of that ends up in landfill or in the seas, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature.-VNA
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