Ecuador Minister of the Environment Michael Castañeda said Thursday that Ecuador will not accept plastic waste from foreign countries, including the U.S. “We have a law against this and we intend to enforce it,” he said.
Castañeda was reacting to an article in the British newspaper, The Guardian, that included Ecuador among a group of poor countries receiving plastic waste from the U.S. The article offered no details about the Ecuadorian companies processing the waste or where the shipments were received.
“We are demanding that the newspaper provide proof of their claim since they offer none in the article. They only include Ecuador in a confusing graphic of other countries that process the plastic,” Castañeda said. “What I read is very sloppy journalism.”
Castañeda said that if it is discovered that Ecuadorian companies are receiving plastic waste from overseas, they will be shut down. “We have no intention to be the garbage dump for the world,” he said, adding, “It’s very hard to hide cargo ships full of garbage.”
The Guardian article focuses on China, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam which receive large shipments of plastic waste from the U.S. for recycling. According to the article, most of the plastic cannot be recycled and adds to the pollution of the countries receiving it.