EcoWaste Coalition Welcomes Filing of Smuggling Charges vs Canada Garbage Importer

An environmental watchdog group welcomed the legal action
taken by customs authorities against the importer of 48 shipping containers of
misdeclared plastic scraps from Canada.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) today sued Pampanga-based Live Green Enterprises
for the illegal importation of heterogenous municipal garbage from Canada, a
move that was welcomed by the EcoWaste Coalition, a staunch anti-dumping
“We welcome BOC’s legal action against the garbage importer that we hope will
be expeditiously tackled by the proper court,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator
of the EcoWaste Coalition.”
“The court, we pray, should order the importer to immediately re-export the
garbage to Canada and set a unequivocal ruling that will severely castigate and
punish any attempt to make our country into a global trash bin,” she added.
On Thursday, BOC sued Nelson Manio of Live Green Enterprises for violation of Sections
3601 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and the DENR Administrative
Order 1994-28, or the “Interim Guidelines in the Importation of Recyclable
Material Containing Hazardous Substances.”
DENR A.O. 1994-28 states that “no importation of heterogenous and unsorted
plastic materials shall be allowed” and that “all plastics should have no
traces of toxic materials.”  
In their letter to the BOC and the Environmental Management Bureau on this
matter last June 25, the EcoWaste Coalition urged both agencies “to push for
the immediate return of the botched garbage shipments for environmentally-sound
disposal in Canada.”
“Allowing the landfilling of Canadian garbage into our soil would send a very
wrong and dangerous signal to waste traders that the Philippines, despite the
legal restrictions, is an open place where the refuse of affluent societies masked
as ‘plastic scraps’ can be sent for disposal,” the group said.  
Shipping back the illegal garbage imports from Canada, the group said, “will
demonstrate that our government means business when it comes to protecting the
public health and the environment from illegal waste trade.”
The group also urged BOC “to pay keen attention on the entry of materials
described as ‘recyclable plastic scraps,’ which could be a smokescreen for the
illegal entry of residual ‘wastes collected from households,’ which are also
covered by the Basel Convention, along with other categories of hazardous
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous
Wastes and Their Disposal, of which the Philippines is a party, recognizes
“that any state has the sovereign right to ban the entry or disposal of foreign
hazardous wastes and other wastes in its territory.”