Canada’s Garbage Remains Dumped in Manila: EcoWaste Reminds Trudeau

Last updated on February 5th, 2019

More than 100 communities and environmental groups in the Philippines are urging Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to take out Canada’s garbage. The groups came together under the banner EcoWaste coalition and wrote a letter to Trudeau on Wednesday. In the letter, they asked him to deliver on the promise he made when he visited Manila in November 2017.

Trudeau, in his last visit, said that he would address the problem with more than two million kilograms of Canadian household, and electronic waste rotting in two Filipino ports for nearly six years.

Back in 2013 and 2014, a total of 103 shipping containers from Canada labelled as plastics arrived in Philippines for recycling, but the customs inspector found out that the containers were actually containing debris from Canadian trash bins.

Upon further examination the inspector uncovered mounds of adult diapers, electronic equipment, and house waste in the bins, none of which was recyclable.

“The scandal has dragged on for five years without resolution, despite promises from the Canadian government to address the problem, including public statements made by yourself as prime minister,” wrote Aileen Lucero, coordinator for the EcoWaste Coalition.

Lucero further cited that South Korea took back their 50 containers last year after they were mistakenly shipped to the nation. However, Canada’s denial to do the same has gone unnoticed.

In 2014, when Filipino officials first approached the federal government about the garbage, Canada tried to get the Philippines to agree to dispose it off there. In 2015, Trudeau visited Manila for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation leaders’ summit just weeks after he became the prime minister. During his visit, he said that he was aware of the problem and that he had no legal authority to push the company that shipped the containers to take them back.

In 2016, Philipino court ordered the bins to be sent back to Canada.

Trudeau returned to the nation in 2017 for a summit of Southeast Asian countries and said then that his nation was working hard for the solution and it was “theoretically possible” for Canada to take back the garbage.

The situation though still remains the same, as activist’s protest and urge Canada to take back their waste and settle the issue once and for all.

Besides, Guillaume Berube, a spokesman for Global Affairs Canada, also said: “We are committed to working collaboratively to ensure the material is processed in an environmentally responsible way.”

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