Misdeclared Korean Waste to be Returned from the Philippines

The governments of the Philippines and South Korea have reached an agreement that will ensure the repatriation of some 6500 tonnes of mixed wastes stranded at Misamis Oriental to their origin in Pyeongtaek City this January, according to the Ecological Waste Coalition.


Image © Ecological Waste Coalition


[부끄러운 민낯] 

필리핀에 쌓인 한국발 쓰레기 5100t , 한국으로 되돌아온다  

   필리핀 환경단체를 들끓게 했던 한국산 쓰레기가 다시 한국으로 되돌아올 것으로 보인다.   

일간 필리핀스타는 필리핀 관세청 관계자 말을 인용해 지난해 필리핀으로 들어간 쓰레기를 다시 한국으로 돌려보내는 문제가 본격적으로 논의되고 있다고 보도했다.   

이 관계자는 매체에 "관련 절차가 순조롭게 진행된다면, 지난해 한국 쓰레기를 담은 채 필리핀으로 들어온 컨테이너 51개가 다음 주 한국으로 돌아갈 것"이라고 말했다. 

필리핀 환경운동단체 140여개 연합체인 에코웨이스트연합( EcoWaste Coalition ) 소속 환경운동가들이 지난해 11월 '한국산 플라스틱 쓰레기'의 조속한 반송을 촉구하는 시위를 벌였다. [사진 그린피스]

지난해 7월 21일과 10월 20일 두 차례에 걸쳐 한국발 플라스틱 쓰레기 6500t이 수십 개의 컨테이너에 담겨 필리핀으로 들어갔다. 이 가운데 5100t은 필리핀 민다나오섬의 한 필리핀 폐기물 수입업체 소유 부지에 방치됐고, 나머지는 민다나오섬의 한 터미널에 보관됐다. 이 쓰레기들은 50여개 컨테이너에 보관된 채 필리핀 관세청에 압류된 상태다. 


컨테이너를 보낸 한국-필리핀 합작 기업은 컨테이너 안에 합성 플라스틱 조각이 들어있다고 신고했다.   

하지만 컨테이너 안에는 사용한 기저귀, 배터리, 전구, 전자제품, 의료폐기물 등 쓰레기가 다량 포함돼 곧바로 압류됐다.   


필리핀에 불법 수출된 한국발 플라스틱 쓰레기 [그린피스 제공=연합뉴스]

이 같은 사실은 국제 환경단체 그린피스가 불법 수출된 한국 폐기물이 필리핀 현지에 쌓여 있는 모습을 공개하며 알려졌다. 

이후 필리핀 환경단체 에코웨이스트 연합(Eco-waste coalition)은 지난 11월 15일 주 필리핀 한국대사관 앞에서 시위를 열었다.   


이들은 플라스틱 쓰레기 불법 수출을 규탄하며 플라스틱 쓰레기를 크리스마스 이전에 한국으로 가져가라고 요구했다. 

필리핀 당국도 한국 정부에 쓰레기를 다시 가져가라는 의사를 밝혔다.  

이민정 기자 lee.minjung2@joongang.co.kr  중앙일보

edited by kocntents

The governments of the Philippines and South Korea have reached agreement that will ensure the repatriation of some 6500 tonnes of mixed wastes stranded at Misamis Oriental to their origin in Pyeongtaek City this January, according to the Ecological Waste Coalition.

The organisation, a Philippine public interest network of community, church, school, environmental and health groups, held a press conference jointly with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) where John Simon, Port Collector at the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) announced January 9, 2019 as the target date for the re-export of 51 containers of mixed garbage back to South Korea.

“We expect the 51 garbage-filled containers stored at MICT to be homebound by January 9 provided that all regulatory requirements are readily available. Their expedited re-export is what BOC wants and this is what our people are yearning for,” he said.

Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition added: “We look ahead to the imminent return of the Korean mixed garbage shipments to their source, and to the adoption of stringent policies to prevent their recurrence, including a crackdown on the importation of plastic waste. We need to act decisively to protect our country from turning into a global dump for plastics and other wastes that China no longer wants.”

Simon explained that the re-exportation of the 51 containers to South Korea is due to the failure of the consignee to secure prior import permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and for its misdeclaration of the waste shipments as “plastic synthetic flakes.”

The re-exportation order was said to be pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 10863 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act), Republic Act 6969 (Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act), and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, the BOC emphasized. The re-export of the said 51 containers is estimated to cost US$47,430, specifically for inland and ocean freight charges.

As for the bulk Korean waste shipments sitting at the Verde Soko compound inside the Phividec Industrial Estate in Barangay Sta. Cruz in Tagoloan, Simon announced that arrangements will be made to get them re-exported within this month.

The agreement was made following a fruitful bilateral meeting between the two governments last December 27 and 28 at Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, which drew over 35 participants, including a four-member delegation from South Korea led by Mr. Lee Jong Min from the Ministry of Environment.

BOC-Region 10, together with the representatives from DENR-Region 10, PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority, the municipal government of Tagoloan and the provincial government of Misamis Oriental, represented the government of the Philippines at the meeting.

Also present at the meeting were invited representatives from the private sector, including the MICT Services Inc., Maersk Lines, Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. and the EcoWaste Coalition.

It will be recalled that a shipload of 5176 metric tonnes of misdeclared “plastic synthetic flakes” earrived at the MICT in July 2018 without prior import clearance from the DENR.

The same consignee facilitated the importation of additional 51 containers of “plastic synthetic flakes,” which arrived at the MICT in October 2018.

Subsequent inspection by customs and environmental officials found the imported “plastic synthetic flakes” as "misdeclared, heterogenous and injurious to public health,” causing uproar in both the Philippines and South Korea, including protest actions by the EcoWaste Coalition outside the embassy of the latter in Taguig City on November 15 and December 13, 2018.

The Tagoloan Municipal Council has passed a resolution "strongly condemning the importation of plastic mixed with hazardous waste materials from South Korea," while Senators Koko Pimentel, Nancy Binay and Grace Poe have filed separate resolutions directing the proper Senate committees to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation,

The government of Korea is reported to have said: “The Ministry of Environment on November 21 initiated legal procedure to have the wastes in question in the Philippines be brought back in accordance with Article 20 of the Law on Cross-border movement and Disposal of Wastes—Prior Notice of Repatriation Order—and embarked on investigation of the violation of Article 18.”



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