Indonesia to ship hazardous or improperly sorted waste back to Belgium, Europe
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    Indonesia to ship hazardous or improperly sorted waste back to Belgium, Europe

    A waste treatment centre in Jakarta, Indonesia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    Indonesia is sending back over 500 containers with hazardous or improperly sorted waste to Belgium and other European countries.

    Indonesian customs authorities said that they had identified a total of 547 containers which they would send back to their countries of origin, according to VRT.

    The waste was exported into the southeast Asian nation by Belgium and other European countries, including Belgium, Germany and France, as well as by Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.

    Saying that they did not want to become the “garbage dump of the richest countries,” Indonesian authorities said 331 containers had already been sent back and that the remaining 216 would follow.

    A 2018 decision by China to stop importing plastic waste from other nations has seen a surge of imports to other countries in the region, with Indonesia receiving 2,041 waste containers in the single period from July to mid-September.

    Authorities in Indonesia said they would fine companies in their country responsible for importing non-compliant waste.

    According to VRT, the recycling capacity of countries in the Southeast Asian region is limited, and the tons of waste sent there by western nations often ending up in landfills, burned or dumped in the sea.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times