Indonesia returns toxic trash to senders

The Indonesian government is sending 49 trash containers back to developed nations

  1372
Increasing plastic waste from developed nations

Increasing plastic waste from developed nations (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Indonesian government announced on Tuesday (June 2) that it is sending 49 containers of waste back to their exporters, as Southeast Asian countries increasingly refuse to serve as the dumping grounds for high-income nations, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The 49 containers sent from the United States, Australia, France, Germany, and Hong Kong were filled with garbage, including plastic waste and hazardous materials that violate Indonesian import regulations, according to a spokesman for the customs office on the Indonesian island of Batam. "We are coordinating with the importer to immediately process their return," he added.

Huge quantities of waste began pouring into Southeast Asia last year when China suddenly decided to ban the import of foreign waste, according to AFP. However, many countries in the region are coming to resent being treated as landfills for the developed West and Northeast Asia.

Indonesia sent five waste containers back to the U.S. in mid-June, and in late May, Malaysia declared that it would return 3,000 tons of plastic waste to their origin. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte even threatened to declare war on Canada if it did not take back 69 containers of trash it had shipped to the archipelagic nation, the news agency reports.