The United Kingdom (U.K.) is the latest nation being held accountable for dumping its contaminated waste in other countries.
For years, China had been the largest dumping ground for plastics. Since China implemented its National Sword policy, Poland soon became the sixth largest recipient of U.K. waste in the world and the second largest inside the European Union, behind the Netherlands, DW reports. Now, Poland has become fed up with illegally imported foreign waste from the U.K.
In addition, Sri Lanka has demanded that the U.K. take back more than 100 containers of waste consisting of plastics, syringes and suspected human remains believed to have been exported from the U.K. in 2017.
TIME reports that on July 24, protestors in Sri Lanka held a demonstration outside the British High Commission in the capital Colombo and handed over a letter urging the U.K. to take back the waste. According to the report, Sri Lankan authorities said they had taken “immediate action to order the re-export” of the waste.
DW has more:
Poland has become a dumping ground for UK plastic waste and a so-called trash mafia has allegedly grown up to manage its illegal incineration.
Poland's Deputy Minister of the Environment, Slawomir Mazurek, promised recently that the government would come down hard on illegal incineration of imported plastic waste.
Poland's 10 energy-from-waste plants, he said, can handle domestic waste and imports from the Czech Republic, Italy and the UK, but there is little sector-wide regulation of waste quality and illegal incineration is widespread.
TIME has more information:
Sri Lanka is demanding the U.K. take back more than a hundred containers of waste, joining the growing list of Asian countries pushing back against developed nations that export trash as recycling.
The 111 containers consisting of plastics, syringes and suspected human remains are believed to have been sent from the U.K. in 2017, the BBC reports, but were only inspected last week after port officials complained of a putrid smell.
Authorities said Tuesday they had taken “immediate action to order the re-export” of the waste.