December 11, 2018 13:29
International environmental organization Greenpeace on Monday released images of 6,500 tons of plastic waste from Korea found dumped in the Philippines.
Camouflaged as "recycled waste materials," these mountains of plastic waste were exported illegally by a Korean recycling company.
According to Greenpeace, the waste was smuggled into the Philippines on July 21 and Oct. 20. Some 5,100 tons are still lying on a landfill site of Verde Soko Phil., a waste processing company, on Mindanao Island an hour and a half by air from Manila.
The remaining 1,400 tons were impounded and kept in 51 containers by the Philippines Bureau of Customs at the island's port.
Swept away by rain and winds, the waste pollutes soil and water and threatens the health of local residents.
The EcoWaste Coalition, a Philippine environmental group, staged a demonstration in front of the Korean Embassy in Manila on Nov. 15 to protest against the illegal dumping of plastic waste. Members also marched in the street near the Philippines Bureau of Customs on Nov. 28, calling for the return of the plastic waste to Korea before Christmas.
The Environment Ministry here said, "This is an illegal action by a Korean waste exporter. We will take legal action to make sure that the exporter solves the problem."
Greenpeace said this is the first time that such a vast amount of plastic waste has been smuggled into the Philippines and warned the issue cannot simply be dismissed.
But the importer in a statement the same day denied smuggling and claimed that it legally imported recycled waste materials.
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