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Environment watchdogs hail return of imported trash to South Korea

January 13, 2020 - Monday 6:01 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image FOREIGN GARBAGE. A file photo of industrial garbage packed in sacks, inside the Phividec Industrial Authority. The garbage was docked inside the premises of its consignee, Verde Soko Inc., inside the industrial estate in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental last year after arriving from South Korea. ERCEL MAANDIG / PNA FILE PHOTO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Environment watchdogs on Saturday welcomed the announcement of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) that the remaining trash from South Korea now stored in a facility in Misamis Oriental will finally be shipped back on January 19 and February 9, this year.

In a joint statement, Davao City-based Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) and Quezon City-based EcoWaste Coalition lauded the decision of BOC to send back the remaining wastes to the country of origin.

The group was referring to the 5,177 metric tons of mixed garbage that were repacked and put in storage at the Phividec Industrial Authority compound in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

The imported trash is the remainder of the 6,500 metric tons of plastic wastes imported by Verde Soko in 2018 to be recycled into raw materials for plastic products.

However, it was confiscated by the BOC for wrongful declaration as well as the company’s failure to secure an import permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Quoting information from John Simon, BOC district collector for Northern Mindanao, the groups said the trash will be put in 60 container vans and will be transported by an international shipping line to Pyeongtaek City, South Korea.

“The long wait will soon be over. In line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive banning waste imports and in cooperation with the South Korean government, we are shipping back the remaining waste to their origin on Jan. 19 and Feb. 9,” Simon said in a text message.

“The re-exportation of the misdeclared plastic wastes to where they come from should send a clear signal to all parties that our beloved country is not a global dump and that waste traffickers will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” he added. PNA