Toxic Waste Being Dumped on Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is becoming a dumping ground for toxic waste from wealthy countries, Greenpeace warned yesterday. Large quantities of dangerous refuse — including medical and electronic waste, old tires, and used lead acid batteries — are being shipped to Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines from industrialized nations that don’t want to pay to dispose of the material safely. Greenpeace cited a recent case in which nearly 12,000 metric tons of toxic industrial waste were illegally shipped to Malaysia from a company in Taiwan, and said the incident was “the tip of the iceberg.” Greenpeace is calling on the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to ratify an amendment to the Basel Convention that would control shipments of waste from industrialized nations to developing ones.