Canada fails to take back trash on Duterte’s deadline
Environmental justice group BAN Toxics issued a call for the immediate prohibition of importing hazardous waste and other garbage in light of the failure of the Canadian government to take back its illegal garbage export by the May 15 deadline.
“The righteous anger that Filipinos have expressed over the continued presence of the Canadian trash continues to be frustrated by the long delay in its return to Canada,” said Reynaldo San Juan, Deputy Executive Director of BAN Toxics.
In 2013, 50 container vans containing household waste were shipped to the Philippines from Canada. The waste has remained in the country over half a decade later, leading President Rodrigo Duterte to issue a deadline for Canada to take back the waste.
Various reports have noted that Canada has agreed to take back the waste, but their actions remain to be seen.
“President Duterte expressed our collective anger, and we need to channel this by taking concreted action and ratify the Basel Ban Amendment immediately,” San Juan said.
The Basel Ban Amendment is an amendment to the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes, an international treaty designed to reduce and control the movement of hazardous wastes between countries. The Basel Ban, as it is called, prohibits the export of hazardous wastes from rich to poorer countries, such as the Philippines.
The Philippines ratified the Basel Convention in 1994 and has yet to ratify the Basel Ban Amendment.
The Philippines has been victim to illegal dumping of hazardous wastes and garbage. The Canadian trash is just one of several incidents. Just early this year, around 1,400 tons of household waste from South Korea arrived in the country.