About 260,000 tonnes of trash, including 52,200 tonnes of electronic trash, were imported into Thailand during the January-May period this year compared to 116,000 tonnes imported for the whole of last year, said Customs Department spokesman Mr Chaiyuth Khamkhun.
He attributed the substantial increase of imported wastes, especially from China, to the Chinese government’s ban on the importation of electronic trash and plastic trash for recycling.
In anticipation of the rising trend of electronic trash and plastic trash to be imported from China and Hong Kong, Mr Chaiyuth said that a joint working group of the Customs and Industrial Works departments had decided to adopt six measures under the Basel Convention to control import of the two types of trash especially from China, which include the requirement that all containers of imported trash be X-rayed instead of random check as was the case in the past.
Since the adoption of tougher measures, he said Customs officials had checked 73 suspicious containers and were in the process of returning 40 containers to countries of origin after five trash separation plants had their licenses suspended for defying trash import conditions.
Of the 40 containers to be sent back, he said 33 of them were falsely declared to contain metallic trash.
He disclosed that some unscrupulous importers had stuffed electronic trash in containers declared to contain metallic trash, making it difficult for customs officials to intercept electronic trash because inspection of metallic trash is not as tough as inspection of electronic trash.