OTTAWA — A Vancouver environmental law firm says Canada broke international rules when it dumped more than 100 shipping containers of garbage disguised as plastics for recycling into the Philippines.
The Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation says either the Canadian company behind the shipment didn’t get consent from the Philippines, or it lied about the contents in order to get approval, violating an international law known as the Basel Convention.
The legal opinion for a coalition of Canadian environment groups says Canada was required to bring the shipments back within 30 days.
The Basel Convention prevents countries from shipping hazardous waste to the developing world without consent, but Canadian authorities argue the law didn’t apply at the time of the shipments because this country didn’t consider the waste to be hazardous.
The garbage arrived in Manila in multiple shipments in 2013 and 2014 and most remains rotting in ports while Canadian and Filipino authorities fight over how it will be disposed.
Canada is expected to get push back over the dispute from other nations next week when signatories to the Basel Convention meet for a regular discussion in Switzerland.
The Canadian Press