HEJSupport Co-Director, Olga Speranskaya, was interviewed by the Canadian TV Power Play to discuss the issue of Canadian waste rotting in the PhilippinesBlog
The story behind the interview: The 103 shipping containers of mixed garbage from Canada, wrongly declared as scrap plastics for recycling, were exported and dumped in the Philippines five years ago. The waste actually contained household trash, used adult diapers, and electronic waste. Such illegal export violates the national legislation of the Philippines, which states that “no importation of heterogenous and unsorted plastic materials shall be allowed” and that “all plastics shall have no traces of toxic materials.” The shipments further violate the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, which says that “the State of export shall ensure that the wastes in question are taken back by the exporter or the generator or, if necessary, by itself into the State of export.”
According to the waste analysis conducted by the officials in the Philippines , approximately 64 percent of the intercepted Canadian garbage shipments were “baled municipal solid waste or garbage destined for immediate local disposal and cannot be recycled.” In 2015, wastes from 26 of the 103 containers were illegally disposed of at a private landfill in Tarlac province angering officials and citizens.
The situation has been closely monitored by the EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental organization made up of over 140 groups all over the Philippines. In their appeal to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the EcoWaste Coalition requests Canada to take action to resolve a dumping scandal involving the illegal export of wastes from Canada to the Philippines.
HEJSupport co-signed a letter to support the appeal made by the EcoWaste Coalition and call on Justin Trudeau to take the following actions they have requested:
- Ensure the expeditious return to Canada of the wastes illegally exported from Canada and dumped in the Philippines, as is required by the Basel Convention.
- Ratify the Basel Ban amendment, which would prohibit the export of hazardous waste for any reason from more developed countries to less developed countries. The amendment was put in place by an initiative of the developing and European countries and needs the support of only two more countries to come into effect. Canada is one of only 20 countries that have not supported the amendment.