As Cambodia complains about trash exports, environmentalists urge Canada to ban practice

With another country trashing Canada for allegedly sending it its waste, environmental groups are renewing their calls for the federal government to ban the practice outright.Earlier this week, Cambodia followed Malaysia and the Philippines in publicly complaining about shipping containers filled with waste ending up at its ports.At the same time, a collection of environmental groups — including Greenpeace and the Canadian Environmental Law Association — sent a letter to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna asking her to ratify an amendment to the UN pact known as the Basel Convention.The amendment aims to bolster the original convention by barring the dumping of hazardous waste in developing countries."Shipping our wastes halfway around the world, allegedly for recycling, to countries that are already deluged with wastes is, as Canada well knows, a practice that is readily abused. It is a practice that is neither environmentally responsible nor just," reads the letter."We call on you to show the environmental leadership that Prime Minister Trudeau promised and support the ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment at the earliest possible date."Ottawa is 'out of step:' activistKathleen Ruff, director of the human rights advocacy campaign Right On Canada, signed the letter. She said she's hoping it becomes an election issue."We believe that the minister and the government [are] out of step with the wishes of Canadians who are ahead of the government on this issue," she said in an interview, pointing to a recent Nanos poll showing nearly 80 per cent of Canadians believe Canada should manage and dispose of its own waste and recycling."[Just] because we have an affluent consumer lifestyle, that does not give us a free pass to trash the planet ... These countries are already swamped with an unmanageable problem of waste and plastics and we should not be contributing to that problem."McKenna's office did not respond to CBC's request for comment.Canada is a signatory to the original Basel Convention, which sets restrictions on shipping waste, but has come under fire for continuing to send plastic waste to developing countries.In a recent high-p ...Read more

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