'Deported' waste containers return from Brazil

Containers full of British rubbish have arrived back from Brazil after the South American country's environmental watchdog alleged they full of hazardous clinical waste rather than the harmless plastics that the exporters had claimed they carried.

71 of the 89 controversial containers arrived back in Felixstowe this week, where the Environment Agency planned to fumigate them and analyze the contents as part of an ongoing investigation into the issue.

Brazilian authorities claimed condoms and syringes were among the waste in the containers.

While there is a legitimate global market for the trading of recyclable materials, international treaties forbid industrialised countries shipping their hazardous waste to other states for disposal.

In early August, officers from the EA's National Environmental Crime Team (NECT) raided premises in Swindon with assistance from Wiltshire Police, who arrested a 49-year old man, a 28-year old man and a 24-year old man in connection with the incident.

Andrew Higham, head of the NECT said: "Our investigation into the alleged export of waste from the UK to Brazil will continue with the return of the containers back to the UK.

"The containers will be fumigated, after which we will carry out an investigation of the contents to help us to gather evidence for our ongoing enquiry into the source of this waste.

"The United Kingdom has taken a strong global lead to stamp out the illegal waste trade, in order to protect people and the environment. We are not going to allow our waste to be dumped on developing countries."

Sam Bond


crime | hazardous waste


Waste & resource management
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