Indonesia has become the latest Southeast Asian country to return imported waste from abroad. Five containers of rubbish have been returned by Indonesia to the United States on Saturday 15th June.
According to senior Environment Ministry official Sayid Muhadhar, the containers were only supposed to contain scrap paper according to the customs document, but were found loaded with other waste such as bottles, plastic waste, and nappies. “This is not appropriate and we don’t want to be a dumping ground,” Muhadhar stated.
According to Muhadhar, the five containers which are owned by a Canadian company, were shipped from Seattle, USA to Surabaya. Currently, Indonesia is still in the process of examining several containers in Batam.
Last month, Malaysia also vowed to ship back hundreds of imported plastic waste containers to several countries. The Philippines had also returned tonnes of garbage back to Canada, which sparked a diplomatic row between the two countries.
China, who had received plastic waste from all around the world over the years, has refused to accept any since last year, in an effort to clean up its environment. Huge quantities of waste are known to have been dumped by developed countries in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
According to the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), about 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year. Most of the plastics end up stuck in landfill or in the seas.