Environmental activists demonstrate outside the Canadian embassy in Manila (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A cargo vessel left Subic Bay port in the Philippine capital of Manila on May 31, beginning its trip to ship 69 containers of garbage back to Canada.

Speaking to the media, Canada’s Environment Minister Catherine McKenna welcomed the move and affirmed to work closely with the Philippines concerning the matter.

In 2013 and 2014, a Canadian company sent 103 containers labelled as plastics for recycling to the Philippines. However, an inspection of the Philippines Bureau of Customs found that the containers were filled with different types of waste, including household trash, diapers, newspapers, and plastic bottles.

Earlier this month, Manila asked Ottawa to take back the garbage before May 15, but the Canadian government missed the deadline, forcing the Philippines to take tough diplomatic actions, recalling its envoys to Ottawa.

Canada recently announced it had awarded a contract to Bolloré Logistics Canada to bring truckloads of mixed trash from the Philippines back to Canada. The country will pay the costs of the preparation, transfer, shipment, and disposal of the waste. –VNA