Cambodia probing where shipments of plastic waste came from

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) – Authorities in Cambodia said a special committee will investigate the origins of 83 container loads of plastic waste that have been discovered in the southern port city of Sihanoukville.

Customs Department Director-General Kun Nhim said the committee will take seven to 10 days to find out how the waste made its way to Sihanoukville, and then have it sent back to the countries it came from.

The cross-border disposal of waste became a major regional issue after China, previously its main destination, barred imports of almost all foreign plastic waste early last year. Waste shipments shifted to other countries such as Indonesia, which in turn also started rejecting shipments.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said last week that Cambodia does not allow the import of plastic waste and other recyclables.

Containers loaded with plastic waste are placed at country beach city, Sihanoukville Port, southwest of Phnom Penh, Cambodia on July 16. – AP