HANOI (Bernama) – The Cambodian General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) on Tuesday announced that all the 83 containers of plastic waste illegally imported into the country have been returned to their originating countries – the United States (US) and Canada, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
Chungyuen Plastic Manufac-ture Co Ltd the importer of the plastic waste, shipped back 14 containers on August 20 and the remaining 69 containers were returned on September 15, the GDCE said in a press release.
The company has fulfilled all the conditions placed on it by the authorities, including paying a fine of USD254,000 for importing those plastic waste.
The waste was discovered in 83 containers in Sihanoukville port, 230km to the southwest of Phnom Penh, on July 16, of which 70 were from the US and the rest from Canada.
The containers were imported from the US and Canada over 17 separate occasions between last September and January.
The case caused outrage among local officials. China’s ban on plastic waste imports from last year has thrown global recycling sector into crisis, forcing developed countries to find new places to send waste. As a result, a huge amount of waste has been sent to Southeast Asian ports.
Cambodia is the most recent country to refuse waste imports. In July, Indonesia returned dozens of containers full of waste to France and other developed countries. In May, Malaysia also shipped 450 tonnes of imported plastic waste back to its source.
Each year, about 300 million tonnes of plastic waste is released to the environment, most of which is not recycled but buried or thrown into the ocean.