Indonesia to return hazardous waste to countries of origin hinh anh 1A container of imported waste at the Port of Batu Ampar in Batam city, Indonesia (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia is set to send 79 containers of hazardous materials back to Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US beginning in January, the country’s Government recently revealed. 

In a statement published on December 24, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said it summoned the envoys of the four countries to notify them about the plan on December 23.

The ministry’s director general of American and European affairs, Ngurah Swajaya, said the measure was in accordance with international law, namely the Basel Convention on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. The treaty was designed to reduce the movements of hazardous materials between nations, specifically to prevent the transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries.

He told the ambassadors that under the Basel Convention, cross-country imports containing toxic waste are not allowed, and the Indonesian Government must return it to the origin country.

The 79 containers, verified by various government agencies, are part of the total 107 containers that had been confiscated by Indonesian authorities because they contained hazardous waste. The remaining 28 containers will be re-examined, according to the official.

The containers were confiscated in 2019, during which Indonesia, together with other Southeast Asian nations faced a surge in shipments of plastic waste from developed countries to developing nations following China’s decision to ban the import of 24 types of waste materials./.