Thailand to ban imports of high-tech trash, plastic waste
Abrar Hussain: Thail-and will ban imports of 432 types of scrap electronics within six months, according to an environment ministry official. This makes Thailand the latest country to respond to China’s crackdown on imports of high-tech trash this year.
Many Southeast Asian nations fear that they are the new dumping ground for the world’s trash after China, as part of a campaign against “foreign garbage”, banned the entry of several types of waste.
Thailand’s ban comes weeks after regional
neighbor Vietnam announced it would stop issuing new licenses for waste imports and crack down on illegal shipments of paper, plastic and metal.The Thai ban covers 432 types of electronic refuse – from electronic circuit boards to old television and radio parts – and will take effect within six months, a senior environment ministry official told Reuters yesterday. He said the ban was agreed at a meeting on Wednesday chaired by Surasak Kanchanarat, the environment minister.E-waste – commonly defined as any device with an electric cord or battery – can be mined for valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper. However, it can also include hazardous material such as lead, mercury and cadmium. Scrap metal, including aluminum, copper and steel, can still be imported for industrial use, but must be separated at the country of origin and cleaned.
Thailand’s e-waste ban follows a series of raids that began in May on factories accused of illegally importing and processing electronic waste.
Environmentalists say waste once destined for China is being re-routed to Southeast Asia, and new laws are needed or existing laws better enforced to prevent illegal imports.
Thailand also planned to ban imports of plastic waste in the next two years, the environment ministry official said, but he gave no details about the initiative. Thailand’s military government has said improving the country’s waste management infrastructure is a priority and set goals for 2021.-Source: Hindustan Times