Canada’s garbage repatriation plan does not satisfy the Philippines

The Philippines rejects Canada’s end-of-June deadline for garbage repatriation and is preparing to send them back to Canada.
The spokesman for the president, Salvador Panelo, said at a press conference in Manila on Thursday that Canada’s schedule is insufficient and that the Philippine government will ship the 69 ill-labeled Canadian garbage containers at the latest. next week.

Earlier this week, Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the unloading of containers in Canadian waters as Canada failed to act before the May 15 deadline set by Mr. Duterte to settle the dispute. six years old.

“The garbage will be returned as soon as possible,” said Panelo in Tagalog. This week or the following week. Certainly not at the end of June. We are not a dump. “

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Wednesday that Ottawa has mandated the Canadian division of French transportation giant Bollore Logistics for waste processing and repatriation to Canada by the end of June. Environment officials say the containers must be fumigated in the Philippines before being loaded onto a ship.

McKenna’s press secretary, Sabrina Kim, said Canada was “fully engaged” with the Philippines to “quickly repatriate waste to Vancouver.”

The contract with Bollore Logistics is $ 1.14 million, but the Philippines says it will pay to ship garbage out of the country.

Containers are those that remain of the 103 shipped to the Philippines by a Canadian company in 2013 and 2014, falsely labeled as plastic to be recycled. The Philippine authorities were alarmed that the amount of material was greater than the Philippine importer could handle and ordered an inspection. The containers were mostly filled with household waste rather than recyclable material.

Canada and the Philippines have been discussing since 2014 what will happen to the contents of containers. Manila recently recalled its ambassador and consuls-general until Canada took charge of garbage.

Several environmental groups in Canada and the Philippines claim that Canada has violated the Basel Convention, an international treaty designed to prevent richer countries from using developing countries as dumping grounds.

Prior to 2016, the Canadian rules under the Basel Convention only stipulated that the convention applied to shipments considered dangerous by Canada. At the time, Canada considered that wastes are not dangerous, unlike the Philippines.

Canada has changed its regulations to prevent this type of situation and now exporters must obtain a permit from Environment and Climate Change Canada to ship waste if Canada or the importing country believes the contents to be hazardous.

Containers filled with garbage are not so rare, the Philippines having managed this week another shipment of this type from Australia. Information from Manila indicates that seven garbage containers have been rejected by the Philippines. In the Philippines, this waste had to be burned to produce energy, but the country says it violates its clean air laws.

Last year, South Korea repatriated garbage containers that ended up in the Philippines in just a few months, providing a comparatively unflattering prospect for Canada, which dragged on for almost six years.

President Duterte also hinted that his country would do like China and ban the import of plastics for recycling. China used to be the largest importer of recyclable plastics, but by 2018 it banned most shipments because too many were contaminated with non-recyclable materials.

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