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Plastic waste illegally imported into India

As many as 38 containers of contaminated waste were diverted by Indonesian officials to India instead of the United States (US), Indonesian civil society group, ‘Nexus 3’ as well as Basel Action Network (BAN), a global waste watchdog formed under an international treaty, said.

Carried out by 2 non-profits, the expose has claimed that other countries across Asia too bearing the brunt An Indonesian official sifts through hazardous and plastic waste. Plastic waste is being imported into India and other Asian countries, an expose by two civil society organisations claimed on October 28, 2019. India had banned the import of plastic waste from August 2019. 

As many as 38 containers of contaminated waste were diverted by Indonesian officials to India instead of the United States (US), Indonesian civil society group, ‘Nexus 3’ as well as Basel Action Network (BAN), a global waste watchdog formed under an international treaty, said.

Out of these 38, as many as 25 containers arrived at Indonesia on June 27, 2019, and August 2, 2019. They were supposed to contain mixed paper and were going to a paper recycling unit there.

However, they were found to be mixed with hazardous and plastic waste. Therefore, these containers were supposed to be returned to the country of origin, that is, the US.

The civil society groups, giving several proofs in their report, claimed that they instead arrived at the Adani port in Gujarat’s Mundra on September 6, 2019.

As many as 15 of these containers were shipped on the Cosco Shipping Line from the Pacific Container Terminal in California, US. Ten others left the SA Marine T-30 Terminal in Seattle, Washington, in the May of 2019, the report said.

Besides these 25 containers, another 13 containers were shipped from the US to Indonesia on July 18, 2019. They were also supposed to contain only paper for recycling but instead had plastic waste.

Instead of being reshipped to the US, they instead made their way to Gateway Terminals India APMT at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Nhava Sheva, in Maharashtra, on August 24, 2019.

Then, they were taken by a truck to their final location of Kanpur Concor CFS, Kanpur, on September 14, 2019.

To buttress their claim, the civil society groups gave the exact date and timings of the respective consignments landing in India. They even attached screenshots of the containers’ journey at various points, from Indonesia to India. 

While ‘Nexus 3’ received the container (consignment) numbers, BAN traced the origin and destination of these containers.

The original US waste shipments were imported by the Indonesian paper recycling companies PT Mega Surya Eratama and PT Surabaya Mekabox located in East Java.

“Since these shipments were allowed into India, a country that has actually banned the import of plastic waste, and were blocked from entering Indonesia due to being too contaminated with plastic waste, it appears that India is seriously lacking proper enforcement of their law,” Jim Puckett, Executive Director and Founder of Basel Action Network, told.

 

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Saturday, November 23, 2019