Environmental group urges China to investigate Hong Kong waste dumped in Misamis Oriental

Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition urged the Chinese government today to investigate the case of trash that was shipped from Hong Kong to Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental earlier this year.

Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) official John Simon told Rappler on Friday last week that the container of garbage from Hong Kong arrived at the port in February. Shipped by Hin Yuen Tech. Env. Limited, it was wrongly declared as electronic accessories. Seventy more containers were supposed to follow, but they were canceled when port officials learned that the first container had garbage.

Simon said that the trash will be sent back by the MICT to Hong Kong.

The EcoWaste Coalition said today that they inspected the trash with Bureau of Customs officials earlier this week and that it was composed of mixed plastic waste placed in 22 sling bags weighing 25,610 kilograms.

“We are shocked that the shipment originated from Hong Kong, which we find truly ironic since China has taken the unprecedented move to protect its own environment by banning waste imports, including electronic and plastic scraps and remnants. We, therefore, request the Chinese government to seriously look into this matter,” said Aileen Lucero, the national coordinator for EcoWaste Coalition.

In 2018, China banned 24 types of garbage from being dumped in their country. Their decision meant that waste exporters had to find alternative places to dump their trash at, reported CNBC.

Lucero also encouraged the Philippine government to sign the Basel Ban Amendment, which would prohibit developed nations from dumping their trash in other countries such as the Philippines.

Other than Hong Kong’s garbage, seven 40-foot container vans containing trash from Australia arrived at the MICT on May 7, reported ABS-CBN News. The cosignee was Holcim Philippines Incorporated, which has a cement plant in Lugait, also in Misamis Oriental.

Holcim said the materials will be used as fuel in their cement factory, but Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a press conference yesterday that the waste has to be sent back to Australia.

These garbage issues come amidst the conflict between the Philippines and Canada over the garbage that an Ontario-based company illegally dumped here from 2013 to 2014.

The Department of Foreign Affairs recalled Filipino diplomats in Canada last week as a protest over the North American country’s failure to take back the trash by the May 15 deadline specified by the Philippine government. However, Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister of environment and climate change, yesterday promised that they will take back the trash by the end of June.

However, Panelo said yesterday that President Rodrigo Duterte is not keen to wait until June and that the Philippine government will push through with its plan to hire a private contractor that would send back the trash to Canada.

This article, Environmental group urges China to investigate Hong Kong waste dumped in Misamis Oriental, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!