At A Glance: The Canada Waste Issue
A little over three years have passed since the discovery of Canada’s shipments of waste. Here’s a brief look at what has happened and what BAN Toxics and other civil society groups have done on the issue since that time.
- AUGUST 2013: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - Environment Management Bureau (EMB) reported that 50 container vans exported by Canada include municipal and kitchen waste, electronic waste, syringes and adult diapers despite being declared to contain only "scrap plastic materials."
- FEBRUARY 2014: The Bureau of Customs (BOC) sued the importer of the Canada waste, Chronic Plastics, its owner, as well as its customs brokers.
- MARCH 2014: Anna Kapunan, BAN Toxics Campaigns and Advocacy Specialist, started a petition through Change.org which got over 25,000 signatures nearly a year later. Almost half of the petitioners were Canadians.
- NOVEMBER 2014: DENR led a Waste Analysis and Character Study (WACS) witnessed by a representative from the Canadian Embassy and co-members of the interagency committee on the Canada waste issue, namely BOC, Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The shipping containers were found to have baled municipal solid waste which is non-recyclable despite being declared as recyclable "scrap plastic materials."
- DECEMBER 2014: BAN Toxics, EcoWaste Coalition and Greenpeace Philippines gathered together in front of the Canadian Embassy to call upon the Canadian government to take back their waste.
- MARCH 2015: The Philippine government decided to dispose of the Canada waste through local landfills and to have the Canadian importer, Chronic, Inc., pay for the treatment and dumping costs.
- MAY 2015: More shipping containers were reported to have arrived in Manila ports. A total of 103 container vans filled with garbage from Canada were dumped in the Philippines.
- 11 JULY 2015: The Canada's waste shipments were sent to Tarlac to be dumped in the engineered, sanitary landfills despite the opposition of the local government of Tarlac and its residents.
- 11 JULY 2015: In a television interview, Anna Kapunan of BAN Toxics urged the government to do something about the Canada waste issue because this becomes a precedent for other countries to ship their trash to the Philippines.
- 14 JULY 2015: DENR Undersecretary for International Affairs and Foreign Assisted Program Atty. Jonas R. Leones explained that legal action on the Canada waste issue should be done through international court.
- 22 JULY 2015: Days after the container vans were emptied in Tarlac for dumping, Tarlac Vice Governor Kit Cojuangco stopped the disposal process to oppose the decision of the government to dump the trash in their sanitary landfills.
- NOVEMBER 2015: The Senate of the Philippines published a press release of Senator Francis Escudero emphasizing that the Philippines still have to deal with Canada's trash even though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left the Asia Pacific and Economic Cooperation (APEC) without clearly addressing the Canada waste issue.