Some 6,500 metric tonnes of South Korean plastic waste illegally exported to the Philippines will return to Korea, according to local officials and environmental activists on Thursday.
Some 1,400 tonnes of the waste seized and held at the Mindanao International Container Terminal will be sent back to Korea as early as late this month.
The 51 containers of waste will leave for Pyeongtaek Port on Wednesday. The remaining 5,100 tonnes of waste will be shipped back to Korea later after being repacked.
International criticism surfaced last year after a Korean company illegally exported plastic waste to the Philippines.
The company falsely declared the waste as recyclable “plastic synthetic fakes” and exported it in July and October. But the waste was not recyclable and included batteries and straws, among other things.
The Philippine customs office identified the containers in Mindanao in November and demanded the Korean government take back the waste.
Much of the world’s unrecyclable plastics are flocking to Southeast Asia after China banned the import of plastic waste. THE KOREA HERALD/ANN