Updated: Feb 4, 2019
What was the deal?
On the 28th of November, Vietnamese accumulated in front of the Philippine Customs Service in central Manila with pickets saying "Quick Mail, Return to Korea." The protests driven by environmental campaigners requested 'a speedy return of wastes from Korea' and 'a charge for waste smuggling traders.'
This all happened immediately after Greenpeace, a non-governmental organization that promotes solutions for a green future, published a press release, 'Korea, which can not afford the cost of plastic, hand over its responsibility of processing obligation to other nations.'
Media report that 'Korean recyclers sent 5,100 tons of plastic waste to the Philippines unapproved.' Truth be told, the company told the Philippine Ministry of Environment that it would send out "plastic raw materials," but sent a pile of waste instead.
It's Not Only Korea, It's Not Only Vietnam
This is not the first time Korea illegally exported garbage to Vietnam. On February of 2017, over 500 tones of illegally mixed waste from South Korea, falsely reported as "granulated wood scraps and synthetic resin," arrived at the port located in Cebu. The container was impounded to the Republic of Korea under port authority's orders.
The Philippines is only one of the handful couples of nations that import reused wastes from different nations, alongside Vietnam and Thailand. Southeastern Asian countries have emerged as the main shippers of plastic waste since China, the biggest merchant, proclaimed a year ago to announce a "war on contamination" and to quit bringing in plastic waste. Due to China's suspension of plastic imports, the United States and Japan, as well as Korea, have endured a waste fiasco.
Plastic consumption monsters fixed their eyes on southeastern Asian nations as the solutions of China's plastic imports cessation. However, these nations are experiencing near catastrophic side effects as tremendous measures of waste are poured without recycling technology. It is now a typical sight to see children hurrying beside a deluge of junk covered towns and waste heaps.
More And More Plastic Waste Imports?
According to the Hong Kong South China Morning Post, Vietnam's plastic waste imports ascended from 350,000 tons in 2016 to 550,000 tons in 2017, from 290,000 tons to 450,000 tons in Malaysia, and 120,000 tons to 200,000 tons in Indonesia.
As the circumstance deteriorates, Thai and Vietnamese governments are intending to quit bringing in junk, following China's footprints. Thailand and Vietnam have started confirming regulations on this happening, and this is leading to more waste being sent to Philippine.
It's time to go back to the drawing board and make a greener, cleaner world.
Check this article from Greenpeace Korea!