S. Korea to start bringing back waste from Philippines this month

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2019-01-03 18:43 Updated : 2019-01-03 18:43
글씨작게 글씨크게

[Courtesy of Greenpeace Korea]

SEOUL -- South Korea will start bringing back some 6,500 tons of waste this month from Mindanao in the southern Philippines. Greenpeace Korea said the first batch of 1,400 tons in 51 containers would come on January 9.

The garbage containers will be sent to the southwestern industrial port city of Pyeongtaek. Greenpeace officials in Seoul told reporters that the South's environment ministry has agreed with Philippine authorities to bring back garbage with state money. The shipment of garbage is expected to cost about $44,730.

Initially, some 5,100 tons of garbage arrived at the Mindanao International Container Terminal in July last year. More waste in 51 containers was shipped in October. The shipment sparked protests in the Philippines as it contained used dextrose tubes, soiled diapers, batteries, bulbs, and electronic equipment.

Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corp. did not secure an import permit and declared the garbage shipment as plastic synthetic fakes. An unnamed South Korean company sent garbage to the Philippines because of strict regulations which followed China's crackdown on imports of plastic waste.

Since 1988, nearly half of the planet's plastic trash has been sent to China, where the material was recycled to make more plastic goods. The 2017 ban, however, has left many countries scrambling for what to do with plastic waste. China's trash ban prompted South Korea to launch a campaign aimed at reducing plastic waste and pollution.