Indonesia will send back 142 containers of garbage to Australia and other developed countries after the shipments were found to contain toxic materials, the country’s Customs Department said on Wednesday.
The Customs Director, Mr Teddy Martediansyah, said the decision followed an investigation into more than 250 containers of mostly plastic garbage imported by three companies into the country.
“The three companies imported plastic waste mixed with toxic and hazardous materials,’’ Martediansyah said in a statement.
“At least 100 of the containers will be sent back to Australia,’’ he said.
Other countries from which the banned materials were imported include the U.S., Britain and Spain.
The 142 containers of trash from the latest inspection, came after the Customs department already returned 195 containers of plastic trash mixed with banned materials to countries of origin earlier this year.
Indonesia is still in the process of sending back another 62 containers as part of that investigation.
More containers of plastic trash from industrialised countries found their way to Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries after China in 2018 stopped importing waste from abroad to curb pollution.
Countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are now saying that they do not want to be dumping grounds for trash.
Environmental groups in Indonesia have urged the government to tighten regulations on importation of plastic trash, saying the garbage is harming the environment.
Edited by Fatima Sule/Adeleye Ajayi