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Waste Import Restrictions Increase Across Southeast Asia

Thailand is to introduce a ban on imports of 411 types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) within six months, and a total ban on plastics within the next two years, an environment ministry official has announced.

At a meeting to solve the environmental problems created by e-waste and plastic waste, a resolution to ban the import of hazardous used wastes into the country was made. In making the announcement, Natural Resources and Environment Minister General Surasak Kanchanarat emphasised that the environment and public health must come before profit-making and industrial development.

The ban comes weeks after Vietnam and Malaysia announced waste import restrictions. The moves across Southeast Asia come in response to the increased volumes of waste entering the countries since China announced that it would be banning imports of certain types of solid waste at the start of the year.

Thailand’s Environment Minister admitted that the ban on the import of hazardous wastes will affect the recycling industry and some business operators, but has said that it is important to implement the ban to ensure Thailand does not become the “world’s garbage bin”. He asked business operators in the recycling industry to comply and adapt to the necessary regulatory change, and said that they could present their perspective and seek amendments to the regulation if they have effective methods to control pollution and the environmental impacts from their activities.

The industrial sector has raised concerns that the two-year preparation period for the plastic waste ban is too short. They also argued that imported plastic waste is cheaper and of higher quality than domestic plastic waste.

Thailand’s e-waste ban follows a series of raids that began in May on factories accused of illegally importing and processing electronic waste.

We founded the Recycle with Clarity initiative in 2011 to help increase the amount of household WEEE that is recycled by offering convenient alternatives to civic amenity sites across the UK.

We work with the full spectrum of recycling sites across the UK; from the most sophisticated Approved Authorised Treatment Faciliities (AATFs), to the ‘man with a van’ local clearance specialists. If you are the owner, or manager of a recycling site, and are interested in WEEE collections for Clarity, please contact us on 01273 929 222 or request a call-back.

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