EARTH Thailand

Hazardous waste going back to Japan


THE Department of Industrial Works decided to send more than 190 tonnes of electronic waste back to Japan yesterday, after seven containers of hazardous waste was seized two years ago.

Sukda Punkla, deputy permanent secretary of the Industry Ministry, led a ceremony in which smuggled electronic waste would be shipped back to Japan after it was listed as dangerous under the Hazardous Materials Act, which requires importers to seek permission from authorities before bringing it into the country.

It was reported that the cargo of hazardous waste was shipped yesterday from Laem Chabang seaport and will arrive at its place of origin on August 7. It is the first time for Thailand to return hazardous waste to the country of origin under the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.

Sukda said Japan's Environment Ministry had warned the Industrial Works Department to be cautious about shipments from Japan as they might include electronic waste.

In August 2014, the department and Laem Chabang Seaport Customs found that seven of eight shipments from Japan, declared as 196.11 tonnes of copper and aluminium scrap, were actually electronic waste.

"This waste is considered hazardous according to Thai law and the Basel Convention, so the importer has already been punished, while the government has informed its Japanese counterpart and it has agreed to take back all the hazardous waste," he said.

Somkid Wongchaisuwan, Industrial Works Department deputy director-general, reiterated that the waste was being returned to the country of origin under the Basel Convention.