Customs seize waste exports


In an exclusive report, The Sunday Independent has revealed that Ireland's policy of exporting untreated plastic waste from farms has been thrown into jeopardy, as foreign authorities have begun returning it to Ireland.
At least 130 tons - or six container loads - of contaminated farm waste from Ireland were impounded in Holland and are to be sent back here in the coming weeks.

The containers were filled with untreated farm plastic waste - which left from Cork - and are to be returned there after being impounded by authorities in Rotterdam for being contaminated.

In recent months, there have been mounting concerns about Ireland's shipping of these plastics contaminated with soil, chemicals and animal faeces overseas for recycling - thereby significantly increasing the risk of spreading diseases. The containers were detected on January 6 by customs officials after a tip-off. The shipment, bound for Hong Kong, was impounded and the Dutch officials launched an investigation.

The discovery has also drawn attention to the shipments being made to Asia and The Sunday Independent has learned that further loads routed through Hong Kong have been impounded there and are also due to be returned to Ireland.

It is believed the likely fine could be as much as €10,000 per container - plus the cost of treatment of the waste.

Source - The Sunday Independent