Canada opposes ban on ‘indefensible’ practice of shipping hazardous waste to developing countries

Canada opposes ban on ‘indefensible’ practice of shipping hazardous waste to developing countries

A Seattle-based environmental organization is shaming Canada for refusing to support a ban on the dumping of hazardous waste in developing countries. The proposed amendment would strengthen an international treaty called the Basel Convention, which governs the global movement of hazardous waste. Canada, a signatory since 1989, has come under fire in recent years for allegedly violating the treaty. (CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)


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Basel Convention Agrees to Control Plastic Waste Trade

Basel Convention Agrees to Control Plastic Waste Trade

The 14th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Basel Convention today agreed to include mixed, unrecyclable and contaminated plastic waste exports into the control regime that requires the consent of importing countries before waste exports can proceed. The decision was hailed by the vast majority of the 187 nations present as well as by the Convention's environmental watchdog organization -- Basel Action Network (BAN) along with other civil society groups in attendance, as a breakthrough for environmental justice and an ethical circular economy.

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New Responsible Guideline for Trade in Used Electronic Equipment Published

New Responsible Guideline for Trade in Used Electronic Equipment Published

The Basel Action Network (BAN) today published its new Responsible Guideline on Transboundary Movements of Used Electronic Equipment and Electronic Waste to Promote an Ethical Circular Economy under the Basel Convention. This was developed as an alternative Guideline to the Basel Convention's Interim Guideline which has been fraught with controversy and lack of consensus.

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'Canada is in the wrong': Environmentalists urge the country to clear out its trash from the Philippines

More than 100 containers of Canadian waste were shipped to Manila in 2013 and 2014 — and have been there since

Environmental activists rally outside the Philippine Senate in Manila on September 9, 2015 to demand that scores of containers filled with household rubbish be shipped back to Canada and to push for the ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment which prohibits the export of hazardous waste from developed to developing countries. (AFP/Getty Images)

Environmental activists rally outside the Philippine Senate in Manila on September 9, 2015 to demand that scores of containers filled with household rubbish be shipped back to Canada and to push for the ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment which prohibits the export of hazardous waste from developed to developing countries. (AFP/Getty Images)

Canada needs to remove its garbage from the Philippines immediately — and pay restitution, an environmental studies professor says.

"I would say that at this point the Canadian government should be financially compensating the Philippines government," Myra Hird, who teaches at Queen's University and directs a waste flow research program, told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

She says the Philippines have been "storing our waste for us" for years, and deserve compensation.

More than 100 containers, labelled as recycling, were shipped to Manila by a Canadian company in 2013 and 2014. Customs inspectors later discovered the containers actually contained garbage, including soiled diapers, food waste and electronic waste.

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, says that if Canada doesn't take back tonnes of trash within the next week, he will "declare war" and ship the containers back himself. (Bullit Marquez/Associated Press)

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, says that if Canada doesn't take back tonnes of trash within the next week, he will "declare war" and ship the containers back himself. (Bullit Marquez/Associated Press)

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, says that if Canada doesn't take back tonnes of trash within the next week, he will "declare war" and ship the containers back himself. (Bullit Marquez/Associated Press)

In a video broadcast on Tuesday, the Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte warned Canada to take back the containers within a week, or he'd ship them back himself.

At an event in Montreal Wednesday, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna said Canada is "working very hard to address the issue of the garbage. I think that there is a solution that can be found in the coming weeks."

Philippines Ambassador for Canada Petronila Garcia did not respond to The Current's request for comment.

Some environmental lawyers have argued the shipment of trash has violated Canada's international obligations.

Kathleen Ruff, founder of the human rights and environment public advocacy campaign RightOnCanada, says Canada is in violation of the Basel Convention.

"[It] states that the government of a country has the obligation of bringing back waste … when the waste was illegally shipped. There's no question about it that the shipment of this waste was illegal."

Ruff cited the convention's definition of illegal waste, which she said includes waste that is "fraudulently or incorrectly represented, as these wastes were."

"Canada is in the wrong."

Highest Level of World’s Most Toxic Chemicals Found in African Free-Range Eggs: European E-Waste Dumping a Contributor

Highest Level of World’s Most Toxic Chemicals Found in African Free-Range Eggs: European E-Waste Dumping a Contributor

New research from IPEN and Basel Action Network (BAN) reveals dire human exposures and food chain contamination from highly toxic plastics in waste in Ghana that includes toxic e-waste shipped from Europe. Photograph: Cristina Aldehuela/AFP/Getty Images

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Largest e-recycling fraud in U.S. history sends owners of Kent firm to prison

Largest e-recycling fraud in U.S. history sends owners of Kent firm to prison

For years, environmentally conscious residents acrossthe Pacific Northwest have dutifully dropped off their broken LCD TVs and computer screens at special e-recycling centers for proper handling and disposal. For good reason: Tubes inside the flat-screen monitors contain mercury, a chemical that can cause organ damage and mental impairment if the fragile tubes shatter.

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Canada's Electronics Recycling Association Drops Defamation Suit Against BAN

The Canadian non-profit organization Electronics Recycling Association (ERA) has elected to drop their defamation lawsuit against Basel Action Network (BAN) and Executive Director, Jim Puckett, with prejudice and no other conditions. BAN, as part of its worldwide e-Trash Transparency Project, had reported that three GPS tracked e-waste devices that were deposited at ERA's drop sites in Canada went directly to Hong Kong and Pakistan.

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Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations Obtains e-Stewards® Certification

Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations Obtains e-Stewards® Certification

Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations, a full‐service electronics and materials lifecycle management corporation providing solutions for electronics recycling, materials recovery, legislative compliance, IT asset disposition (ITAD), product refurbishment, remarketing and resale, and data security, today announced that its corporate headquarters location is now e‐Stewards certified.

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