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​​Environmental groups calling "secret" plastic waste trade agreement between Canada and USA illegal

ocean shore full of plastic waste

Multiple environmental groups are calling an agreement signed between Canada and the US on October 26th of this year, illegal, unacceptable and dangerous. In a letter sent to Canadian Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson on December 2, 2020, Canadian and international environmental organizations are calling on the Minister to make the "secret" agreement public and expressed their serious concerns that the agreement violates the new Basel Convention amendments on plastic wastes, which becomes international law on January 1, 2021. 

The Canadian government has claimed they support the agreement and promised to ratify, but has not yet done so.  The United States is one of very few countries that is not a member of the Basel Convention and never agreed with the Basel Convention's decision to better control the export of mixed and contaminated plastic wastes to prevent contamination of the marine environment as well as the territories of developing countries.

Canada however did agree but, according to a recent press release from the Basel Action Network (BAN), appears now to be ready to renege on the agreement when it comes to trade with the United States. The organization says a "secret" Canada/US deal is designed to simply ignore the new Basel Plastic Waste controls for trade between the two countries.

"The behavior of the United States in this shameful arrangement can be sadly expected, but as they are not part of the Basel Convention it is not illegal for them," said BAN Director Jim Puckett. "Canada on the other hand is violating their obligations under the Convention with this deal, in a blatant and shocking way."
Puckett says BAN is especially concerned as this will allow Canadian waste to flow into the US where it will be simply exported to sub-standard, highly polluting facilities and dumpsites in Asia or Africa. 

 Link to the Letter to Minister Wilkinson, 2020-12-02.

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