Group urges DENR to ban plastic waste imports


ENVIRONMENTAL watch group EcoWaste Coalition on Tuesday urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to put a stop to importation of plastic waste in the country.

In a statement, the environmental group said that the ban would prevent dumping and pollution in the country following the return of 51 garbage-filled containers languishing at a Mindanao port to South Korea—six months after the arrival of the shipments in the country.

EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator Aileen Lucero stressed that the DENR should follow China’s move to ban plastic waste importation “to safeguard human health and the environment.”

“We request DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu to impose tough measures that will prevent discarded plastics that could no longer enter China from being diverted into the Philippines due to loopholes in existing regulations,” said Lucero.

Lucero noted that there has been a significant rise on waste exports from South Korea to the Philippines after China prohibited the importation of scrap plastic in 2018 to protect the country’s environmental interests and people’s health.