Udayavni Special

Why is Sri Lanka sending waste back to UK?


Team Udayavani, Nov 2, 2020, 11:42 AM IST

Sri Lanka says it is sending 21 containers of waste back to the UK after they were found to contain hazardous material.

The country started shipping 242 containers of hazardous waste, including body parts from mortuaries, back to Britain after a two-year court battle

According to Indian Express, Last year, the Sri Lankan government asked Britain to take back over 100 containers that the latter had exported to Sri Lanka. The containers were shipped in 2017, and contained clinical waste, used cushions and mattresses, plant parts, plastic waste and other hazardous and uncategorised waste.

After inspection, Sri Lanka’s Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) filed a writ application against the illegal activity.

The petition included issues such as severe damage to the environment and severe threats to the health of the general public of the country.

BBC report states that some wealthy western nations ship their waste to developing countries since it is cheaper, helps to meet their recycling targets and also reduces domestic landfill.  On the other hand, for developing countries, taking this waste acts as a source of income.

Most of the times, the imported waste contains hazardous material which is harmful for the environment

Recently, around 21 containers that were illegally exported to Sri Lanka was received by England. The UK’s Environment Agency will confirm the types of illegal waste that was exported and investigate who shipped it.

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