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Indonesia Continues Uphill Battle Against Illegal Trash

(Credit: Luigi Guarino, Flickr Creative Commons)

Authorities in Indonesia are inspecting more than 1,000 imported shipping containers of garbage to identify contents and discover whether they contain banned materials; if they do, officials say they will attempt to return them to their place of origin, according to NDTV. Countries in Southeast Asia are continuing to struggle with the growing amounts of garbage being sent to them for recycling since China’s moratorium on receiving imported plastic waste went into effect last year.

Earlier this summer, Indonesian authorities said they would be returning dozens of shipping containers full of trash to countries including the US, Australia, France, and Hong Kong. The contents violated Indonesian import rules, customs officials told reporters.

And just last week, Malaysia said it would return 200 containers of trash that did not have the correct permits to enter the country.

Countries like Malaysia and Indonesia do not have an extensive enough recycling infrastructure to deal with the enormous amounts of waste being shipped to them; additionally, the waste that is arriving in these countries often contains toxic or dangerous materials in violation of import rules.

Over the past several months, Indonesia has returned about 250 containers of trash to their countries of origin because they were contaminated with such materials.

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