NONTHABURI, Thailand—President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he wants Western countries to stop shipping their garbage marked as “recyclables” to developing Asian countries.
The President said the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia were among those that became dumping grounds for hazardous shipments.
“If we are talking about improving the ecology of the place, the environment, then we must take into account what we dump,” Duterte said during the Special Lunch on Sustainable Development.
“I think, Mr. Chair, this is as good as any other time and any place to tell the other countries, the Western countries, to be more circumspect.”
Canada shipped more than 2,000 tons of hazardous wastes to the Philippines a few years ago, drawing the ire of the President.
He issued an order to ship back the waste to the country of origin. The Philippines was able to return 69 shipping containers of trash last May.
“When I was told that this garbage has been sent to us by some counties, I ordered immediately that they’d be shipped out on the first ship going to the North American continent. And I told them that if they do not accept their garbage, then you just drop the container near their ports,” Duterte said.
The President also suggested regular meetings to gather opinion and recommendations from experts and to discourage developed nations from sending their trash to other countries.