Canada called upon to finally sign pact to stop dumping waste in developing countries
Environmental organizations strongly encourage government to ratify Basel Ban Amendment
In a letter to Ms. Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, several leading Canadian and Global environmental organizations, are calling on Canada to ratify the Basel Ban Amendment -- a 1995 pact known as the Ban Amendment which would amend the Basel Convention to require developed countries to cease exporting hazardous and other wastes to developing countries for any reason. Canada has ratified the Basel Convention but not the Amendment.
The Ban Amendment lacks but two more country Parties from those that were Parties in 1995 before it can enter into force. Canada was a Party in 1995 so its ratification is pivotal and can send a meaningful message to Asian countries that not only did they finally agree to take the waste back, they now will take action to prevent such exports in future.
"By ratifying the Ban Amendment, Canada can send a long overdue, but nevertheless very welcome message to Asian developing countries currently beset by tidal waves of effluent from the affluent countries across the globe," said Puckett.
The letter signed by the Basel Action Network, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the International Pollution Eliminate Network, Right on Canada, and the Toronto Environmental Alliance, follows a spate of Canadian scandals involving hundreds of containers full of household garbage, plastic waste, and hazardous and electronic wastes that have been dumped in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and just days ago -- Cambodia. Two weeks ago, Canada was forced to accept back containers of household garbage that was over 4 years old after Philippine president Duterte railed against the export.
"It's been a new Canadian scandal every few weeks of late," said Jim Puckett, director of the waste trade watchdog organization Basel Action Network. "It's high time for Canada to stop taking their lead from the United States and align their policies with the European Union and Norway which have not only all ratified the Ban Amendment but have added household wastes and dirty and mixed plastics to the ban as well."
In May of this year the Parties of the Basel Convention updated their waste listings to newly control difficult to recycle plastics by Basel Parties. Canada supported this move as did all of the developed countries except for the US. But Canada still has not supported the Basel Ban Amendment. Environmentalists are calling for Canada to become part of the solution to the global waste trade crisis instead of being one of the worst perpetrators.