Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian firm probed over S’ville plastic waste

Cambodian firm probed over S’ville plastic waste

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Authorities are investigating a firm over the discovery last week of 83 plastic rubbish filled containers at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port. MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT

Cambodian firm probed over S’ville plastic waste

Kun Nhem the director-general of the General Department of Customs and Excise, said on Sunday that the owner of a Cambodian business is being questioned over the discovery last week of 83 plastic-rubbish filled containers at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.

Nhem told The Post that authorities were investigating the company, which hired Chinese employees, over its involvement in illegally importing a reported 1,600 tonnes of plastic waste from the US and Canada.

The waste would be returned to its countries of origin and fines issued when the probe is completed.

“Authorities are investigating the company to ascertain whether Chinese nationals have ownership. This is still at the investigation stage. The results will be announced shortly.

“We cannot reveal the name of the company as the investigation is ongoing,” Nhem said, adding that the waste was brought over in different phases since the end of last year.

Jenn Gearey, the communications manager at Environment and Climate Change Canada, told The Post on Saturday via email that the Canadian government was aware of the concerns raised by its Cambodian counterpart.

The Canadian government has reached out to Cambodian officials through the Canadian embassy in Phnom Penh and is following the matter closely, she said.

“Canada’s government is taking action to reduce plastic waste and support the development of innovative solutions, including spending $100million to help developing countries to prevent and manage plastic pollution.

“The government of Canada is committed to finding ways to ensure plastic is recycled properly, so it doesn’t end up in landfills or in our oceans, lakes, rivers and environment,” Gearey said.

Nhem said cross-referencing the shipping company’s documents at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port with those from ports that had earlier received the containers revealed the waste had originated in the US and Canada.

He told The Post that checks had revealed the containers did not hold poisonous or radioactive substances.

“The waste does smell. The Ministry of Environment has sent it for laboratory tests, with the results expected next week,” Nhem said.

Cheap Sotheary, the coordinator for rights group Adhoc in Preah Sihanouk province, praised authorities for revealing the results of the investigation to manage public concerns.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reports: Rainsy barred from Jakarta flight

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party’s announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy

  • Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday said the government was studying the EU Commission’s preliminary report on the human rights situation in the Kingdom that could lead to a suspension of access to its “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. The

  • Gov’t: Rainsy’s ‘coup plot’ a failure

    The government on Wednesday commended the Kingdom’s security forces for thwarting the attempted “coup plot” by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy through his announced return to Cambodia on November 9. The comments came as Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue

  • Rainsy blocked from boarding flight to Jakarta

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The "acting president" of the Cambodia National Rescue Party's announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy arrived in Kuala

  • Tour guides question animal release ban in Angkor moat

    The Khmer Angkor Tour Guide Association (Katga) called on the Apsara National Authority to reconsider its decision banning all animals from being released into the moat surrounding the Angkor Wat temple after the authority prohibited the action for the sake of visitors’ safety. An Apsara

  • Kingdom to import 200MW from Lao hydropower plant

    Cambodia plans to import 200MW of electricity from Laos’ Don Sahong hydropower plant early next year to curb power shortages this coming dry season, with the transmission line network scheduled for completion later this year, Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman Victor Jona said. Jona,