Two NGOs call on the government to control shipments of hazardous plastic waste from the United States | India News

NEW DELHI: Two NGOs – Toxics Link and Basel Action Network – have alerted the government to some hazardous plastic waste shipments suspected of being banned currently en route from the United States to India, urging relevant authorities to thoroughly check the material .
In their three letters to the Ministry of the Environment over the past month, NGOs that have tracked the movement of toxic waste around the world have specified the ships suspected of carrying containers of banned toxic plastic waste and even indicated the dates. and the ports of their arrival along the east and west coasts of the country.
The ministry has confirmed YOU about receiving these alerts from the two organizations and said necessary action was being taken in the referred cases and “the matter is being reviewed with law enforcement authorities”.
Suspecting the import of two of the categories of waste prohibited by the Basel Convention which regulates the movement and environmentally sound disposal of hazardous and other wastes, the NGOs said in their joint letter to the ministry: “We hope that these shipments will be picked up by someone from the environment department and customs agency to ensure they are checked to see if they are legal shipments. »
In their letters to the ministry, Satish Sinha of New Delhi-based Toxics Link and Jim Puckett of Seattle-based Basel Action Network (BAN) also attached detailed information in an Excel file. They also specified prohibited wastes and called for action.
When asked if the Ministry of the Environment had acted accordingly and whether these shipments had been monitored, the Ministry, in a written response to YOU said: “We have received the reference above. According to the current policy, only two plastic compounds, polythene and polymethyl methacrylate, are authorized in the special economic zones (SEZ). No authorization to import plastic waste has been granted in the Domestic Tariff Area. We are taking necessary action in the above-mentioned case and the case is being reviewed with law enforcement agencies.”
Sinha and Puckett said in their letter that they were sending the alerts because they believed there was a “high probability” that the waste listed in those incoming shipments would be banned. They said they would report on the fate of these shipments at the upcoming 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Basel Convention in Geneva from June 6-17.
“It is essential to put in place a strong and effective monitoring mechanism to check illegal waste streams in the country. We cannot be the dumping ground for plastic waste generated in the developed world,” Sinha said when answering a question from YOU.

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