The Philippines Bureau of Customs was shocked to open tons of garbage shipped from Canada declared as plastic scraps. The five containers were dubious as all had foul stench which disturbed people at the Manila International Container Terminal.
According to Customs Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement Group Ariel Nepomuceno, the containers passed the first level inspection as it was declared as plastic scraps in its shipment papers. Plastic scraps are allowed to be shipped because the Philippines recycle them as plastic wares.
However, after opening the containers, they contain garbage of household waste including used adult diapers.
The containers weigh 891.200.6 kilogrammes which amounted to US$222,800.15.
With the shipment of this toxic garbage, Canada violated the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.
The Philippines Bureau of Customs is now in contact with the shipping firm Chronic Incorporated, with address at 95 Regency Crescent, Whitby, Ontario, Canada LIN 7K8, demanding the shipping company to ship back the containers to the point of origin. The bureau obliged the company to cover all shipment expenses.
Mr Nepomuceno said that the Philippines signed the Basel Convention, an international treaty, which restricts trafficking of waste. Under Basel Convention, all members agreed to prohibits shipment of hazardous garbage from one country to another, specifically dumping garbage from a developed country to a developing country.
The Philippine Bureau of Customs, together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, are now preparing criminal charges against the shipper from Canada and its consignee in the Philippines which had already been identified as Chronic Plastics.