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Sri Lanka sends tons of toxic waste back to Britain

Sri Lanka sends tons of toxic waste back to Britain

Colombo – AFP

Colombo announced on Monday that the shipment of containers containing toxic waste, which had been secretly introduced to the United Kingdom, had ended.

Sri Lankan Customs Chairman Vikeda Ravipriya confirmed that the last 45 containers of the 3,000 tonnes of waste brought to Sri Lanka from the UK from 2017 to 2019 were loaded at the Colombo port. , Which was first reported to have “used mattresses and rugs” that actually contain biological waste from hospitals.

Rabipriya told reporters in Colombo that the 263 containers were the tenth and last shipment to be smuggled into the country. New attempts may be made to import toxic containers, but we will remain vigilant and see to it that this does not happen, he added. Customs confirmed that about 21 containers of hospital waste, including human remains from the morgue, had been returned to the UK in September 2020.

A local company imported waste from the United Kingdom, which ensured that used mattresses and cotton fabrics were recycled and imported for sale to foreign manufacturers.

But customs did not find any credible evidence of the recycling process as spoken by the local company.

The lawsuit was filed following a complaint filed by a local environmental organization seeking to have the waste returned to its source. This request was accepted by a Sri Lankan court in 2020.

Sri Lanka Customs has confirmed that all containers were brought into the country in violation of international law prohibiting the transport of toxic waste, including plastic.

In recent years, many Asian countries have refused to import waste from rich countries so that they do not turn into garbage bins for these countries and have sent unwanted garbage to their sources. In addition to Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia have returned hundreds of junk bins to their home countries.

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