For decades, rich countries including the U.S. sent used plastic to Asia to be recycled. Often, the shipments included contaminated waste that couldn’t be recycled but made it past customs checks anyway, and countries had no way of sending it back. http://ow.ly/nClB30oXbrM
Now, Asian countries are banning waste imports to stop the smuggling of non-recyclable scrap. Until this point, much of the industrialized world was blind to the fate of its cast-off soda bottles and yogurt tubs. https://lat.ms/2ZrqRbm
The Philippines and Malaysia have led the way in demanding that exporting countries take back containers of waste. Below, a ship in the Philippines is loaded with waste to be sent back to Canada. https://lat.ms/2ZrqRbm
Malaysia has become the top destination for discarded plastic. Malaysia’s environment minister recently inspected a container from Australia and found old milk bottles filled with dead maggots. https://lat.ms/2ZrqRbm
You can follow @latimes.