PM warns against allowing in global waste

By Anh Minh   July 25, 2018 | 09:55 pm PT
PM warns against allowing in global waste
Recyclers working on scrap in Trieu Khuc Village, Hanoi. Photo by Trang Bui
Vietnam must not become a dumping ground for other countries’ scrap, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has warned.

“Authorities need to work in co-ordination to stop scrap from entering Vietnam and affecting the environment and people’s lives,” he said at a meeting of the government’s standing committee on importing scrap Wednesday.

They need to investigate the scrap containers that have entered the country without anyone accepting delivery so far and occupying huge space at ports, he said.

They need to take legal action against violations of environmental laws and illegal imports of scrap, he said.

They should not permit businesses to import scrap, he warned further.

The Prime Minister approved a proposal to issue a directive on controlling scrap imports, which will be an important legal basis for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to stop their imports.

Since China announced last year it would stop allowing imports of waste as part of its “war on pollution” Vietnamese experts and officials have been concerned this country could become the next dumping ground for the world’s scrap.

Over 900 Vietnamese firms import paper, plastic and metal scrap for use in manufacturing, according to Vietnam Customs.

In the first six months 8,000 containers of scrap arrived at Cat Lai port in Ho Chi Minh City, said its operator, Saigon Newport Corporation.

A third have remained at the port for over 90 days without anyone carrying out clearance procedures for them, it added.

This year Vietnam had imported 2.28 million tons of metal scrap for over $816 million as of June 15, an increase of 55 percent year-on-year, according to customs.

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