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Cambodia returns 14 out of 83 plastic waste-filled containers to countries of origin

Christian Fernsby |
Cambodia has returned 14 out of 83 plastic waste-filled containers to their countries of origin, and the remaining containers will be shipped out of the kingdom by Oct. 25, the country's General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) said in a statement on Friday.

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The statement said local Chungyuen Plastic Manufacture Co., Ltd, the illegal importer of the waste, shipped 14 containers out of Cambodia on Tuesday.

"Because the shipping company has faced some problems such as delays in shipping due to bad weather and freight congestion due to bookings from other customers, the Chungyuen Plastic Manufacture Co., Ltd. has asked to postpone the shipping of the remaining 69 plastic waste containers until Oct. 25, 2019, based on the shipping schedules provided by the shipping company," it said.

According to the statement, the company had already paid a fine of 1.03 billion riel (253,900 U.S. dollars) for illegally importing the rubbish into Cambodia.

Cambodia found the 83 plastic waste-filled containers at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in the southwestern coastal province of Preah Sihanouk on July 16.

According to the GDCE, the Chungyuen Plastic Manufacture Co., Ltd had brought the waste into the country in 27 shipments, starting from Sept. 2018 to Jan. 2019.

The waste, weighing 1,592 tons in total, was shipped to the country from the United States and Canada, GDCE's director general Kun Nhim said, adding that 70 containers, weighing 1,322 tons, were imported from the U.S., and 13, weighing 270 tons, from Canada.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said late last month that the Southeast Asian nation did not allow any import of plastic waste or garbage for recycling.

"Cambodia is not a dustbin where foreign countries can dispose of any out-of-date e-waste," he said.

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