Indonesia set to send back rubbish to Australia | Eurasia Diary -

18 October, Friday

Indonesia set to send back rubbish to Australia

Indonesian officials say containers of paper contaminated by electronic waste, used cans and plastic bottles

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Indonesia says it will immediately send eight containers of household rubbish back to Australia after inspectors declared the material too contaminated to be recycled.

It is the latest in a series of announcements by south-east Asian nations that they will not be dumping grounds for overseas waste, The Guardian reports.

Indonesian customs officials said the containers of paper from Australia were contaminated by electronic waste, used cans, plastic bottles, old bottles of engine oil and loose shoes. Some of this was deemed “B3”, an abbreviation of “bahan berbahaya dan beracun”, which refers to toxic and hazardous material.

Opening the containers up for the press on Tuesday morning, gloved customs officials held up examples of the offending material, including used nappies and soft drink cans.

Speaking at Tanjung Perak port in Surabaya, customs officials said eight containers holding 210.3 tonnes of waste would be returned.

The containers arrived in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, in mid-June after being sent from Brisbane by a shipping company.

Customs in Surabaya said the offending material would be re-exported immediately, following coordination with the Indonesian import firm PT MDI.

The customs office said it was obliged to protect Indonesia and its environment from imports of B3 waste and had coordinated with related government ministries, including trade and environment, as a show of how serious it was.

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