Official Information Act documents recently passed on to Greenpeace New Zealand and published in Philippine media yesterday revealed that New Zealand has exported at least 50,000 tonnes of toxic wastes to the Philippines and South Korea since 2008. Used lead acid batteries were allegedly sent to the Philippines for recycling. However, it remains unclear how much is exported to the Philippines as this information has not yet been made available.
?We call on the Philippine government to investigate the importation of hazardous wastes from New Zealand and from other countries. We demand that details of these shipments be made publicly available. Republic Act 6969, the law that regulates transboundary movement of hazardous wastes, recognizes the public's right to information. It is therefore government's obligation to disclose such information if we are to prevent more pollution from happening?, said Beau Baconguis, Greenpeace's Toxics Campaigner in the Philippines.
For many years, different environmental groups have been campaigning to end exports of hazardous wastes by developed countries to developing countries like the Philippines. They admit that current Philippine laws allow toxic wastes to enter the country under the guise of recycling.
"The Philippines cannot continue to be a dumping ground of toxic wastes from countries that are more capable of managing their own wastes. Therefore, we call on the Philippine government to immediately ratify the Basel Ban Amendment, as this is what is needed to address the loophole in the current laws?, said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.
?New Zealand is a country that prides itself in its clean and green image. A genuinely green country takes responsibility for its own toxic wastes. By exporting its own hazardous waste, it is, in effect, taking advantage of countries like the Philippines already struggling from countless environmental and social problems?, Alvarez added
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