EcoWaste hails Korean gov’t action on trash shipments
An environmental health advocacy group on Thursday hailed the Korean government for taking steps to return to South Korea the garbage dumped into the country in July.
In a statement, the EcoWaste Coalition lauded the move after it confirmed that it “would take measures to have the wastes brought back to Korea.”
“We commend the action taken by the Korean government to get this dumping controversy resolved without delay,” the group said.
“This early, we say ‘kamsahamnida’ (thank you) to Korea for doing the right thing and for respecting our nation’s right not to be treated as their waste bin,” the group added.
Last July, more than 5,000 metric tons of garbage were dumped at the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) in Misamis Oriental.
Earlier, the Embassy of Korea to the Philippines said the Korean government would conduct an investigation on the exporter of the garbage shipment.
The joint investigation showed that the exporter did not go through “proper recycling process” and that its “documents for export were forged.”
The coalition then advised the Korean government to strengthen its regulatory controls on shipments to ensure that the incident would not happen again.
“This, we hope, will lead to the Korean government strengthening its regulatory controls to ensure that garbage dumping in the Philippines will not happen again. Considering the huge increase in Korean waste sent to the Philippines, the Korean government must prevent future waste shipments,” the group said.
EcoWaste added that they will remain vigilant until the garbage is returned to Korea.
“We will maintain our vigilance until the last ton of garbage is sent back to Korea, until the culprits are charged and held liable, and until environmental justice reigns,” it said.
The environment group compared Korean’s response to that of Canada’s response. The country also dumped garbage dumped in the Philippines in 2013, but it has yet to be resolved.
“We could not help but compare Korea’s response to the dumping issue, and Canada’s unhurried and irresolute response. In fact, Canada’s unwanted wastes, which entered the country illegally in 2013, are still sitting in our ports,” the group said.
Some 103 shipping containers filled with garbage including scrap plastics for recycling were shipped to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014 by private Canadian companies. /ee
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