Indonesia sending back 547 containers of hazardous waste to wealthy nations, from Australia to the US
- Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Spain and the US were among the countries that would see their waste being returned to them
- Authorities said the Indonesian government has stopped more than 2,000 containers this year in several ports
“Some food still [had] liquid flowing,” Pambudi said as he showed the contents of several containers. He said 91 other containers will be returned to Australia after administrative processes are complete.
The government announced in July that it had sent back nearly 60 containers of waste from Australia that were supposed to contain only paper but included household waste, used cans, plastic bottles, oil packaging, used electronics, used baby diapers and used footwear.
Pambudi said several Indonesian-owned companies that imported the waste must return it to the countries of origin within 90 days.
No other sanctions were declared, although importing hazardous waste is a criminal offence with penalties of up to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to 12 billion rupiah (US$850,000).
Indonesia and China themselves are among the world’s biggest producers of plastic waste, which is increasingly fouling their land, seas and beaches.