‘We are not the world’s dump site’ Philippines sends trash back to Canada


Following a long-running waste export row, the Philippines has begun returning dozens of shipping containers full of trash to Canada. 

Reuters reports that 69 containers had been loaded overnight onto a vessel at the port of Subic, northwest of Manila, leaving Friday for the month-long journey to Vancouver, Canada.

In 2016, the Philippines received 2,400 tonnes of waste that had been mislabelled as plastics for recycling, a Philippine court then declared the waste as illegal. Canada said the waste, was a private commercial transaction done without the government’s consent.

“The government of Canada is taking all the necessary measures to ensure safe and environmentally sound transport, handling and disposal of the waste in Canada,” Mark Johnson, spokesperson for Canada’s environment and climate change ministry, was quoted as saying via email.

President Rodrigo Duterte had threatened to declare war on Canada, dump the trash in front of its embassy in Manila, and even personally sailing with the waste to leave it in Canadian waters.

Reuters reports that environmental activists had gathered in Subic while the homeward-bound containers were loaded, and held banners that said “never again” and “we are not the world’s dump site,'' as well as “good riddance” and “Canada take back your trash”.

  1. Kedah stops operations of 61 plastic recycling factories
  2. Furore over plastic waste
  3. PCG, Plastic Energy sign MoU on addressing plastic waste