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Cambodia to return 83 rubbish-filled containers to US, Canada: gov't spokesman

Cambodia to return 83 rubbish-filled containers to US, Canada: gov't spokesman

The latest tonnes of rubbish were discovered on Tuesday in Cambodia's Sihanoukville port, in a large shipping container.

Cambodia has become the latest Asian country to reject shipments of waste sent to its shores by Western companies for processing.

Environment Ministry Secretary of State and Spokesman Neth Pheaktra told Xinhua on Thursday that the garbage totally weighed about 1,600 tons, and 70 containers were shipped from the USA, while 13 were brought in to the country from Canada.

The export of waste to Asian countries has become a major regional challenges after China, which had previously been the main destination, has banned the deployment on its territory nearly all foreign plastic waste in the beginning of a year ago.

Cambodian officials announced Wednesday that they were sending 1,600 tonnes of trash back to their source - the United States and Canada.

Last week, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia does not allow plastic waste or recyclables to be sent there, according to the Guardian.

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Developed countries such as the United States and Canada are known to dump their toxic plastic wastes into the third world countries who have now opened up to the fact and are retaliating in recent times.

He said 70 containers full of plastic waste were shipped from the USA while another 13 were sent from Canada. He added that any company found to be involved in the export of waste, will be fined and brought to justice.

He said it remains to be seen whether the trash can be sent back to the countries of origin.

He said the 83 containers, which arrived over a period beginning in October 2018, contained only plastic waste, not toxic materials or radioactive substances.

Electronic waste, which often has toxic qualities, is also a major problem, with shipments bouncing from port to port after being turned away.

Cambodia also has a severe problem with plastic waste it generates domestically, with little public awareness of the problem or infrastructure to deal with it.