Trash containers of 2017 sent to UK | Daily News


Trash containers of 2017 sent to UK

Illegal cargo of domestic, urban waste
The load of a hazardous mortuary and clinical waste illegally imported from Britain.
The load of a hazardous mortuary and clinical waste illegally imported from Britain.

Sri Lanka Customs has resent 21 containers of waste shipped from the United Kingdom before 2018 on Saturday (26), being the first country in the South Asian Region to take such a move.

Some 263 containers consisting of illegal domestic and urban waste from the UK had been brought to the country by the end of 2017 and the first bulk was sent back by the Seamax Norwalk (V/039R) ship on Saturday.

A case was filed in courts against the rest of 242 containers of which 112 remain in the Colombo port and 130 have been brought to the Katunayake Export Processing Zone after Customs clearance.

The bulk of waste had not even received prior approval from the Sri Lanka Customs before being shipped from the UK, which is a compulsory condition under the provisions of the Basel Convention. Both Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom are stakeholders of this convention.

After a long period of discussions and the legal moves, the return of this trash consignment took place with the support of the Attorney General’s Department, the Central Environmental Authority, the British High Commission in Colombo, the Foreign Relations Ministry, the Medical Research Institute, the Health Ministry,the Atomic Energy Authority of Sri Lanka, Port terminal and Shipping companies.

Customs officials said they will take legal action against the local companies that imported these waste containers to Sri Lanka and also impose a fine.

A similar incident was reported from Malaysia recently, where 150 containers of plastic waste were returned by the Malaysian authorities to 13 rich countries, including 42 to the UK, between 2019 and January 2020.