EARTH Thailand

Prawit orders end to imports of hazardous waste

Bangkok Post 20 June 2018 | Wassana Nanuam

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has ordered authorities to find ways to end the importation of hazardous and electronic waste.

Lt Gen Khongcheep Tantrawanit, the defence spokesman, said Gen Prawit issued the order at a meeting of the committee on the reform of national administration.

Gen Prawit, also defence minister, ordered the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Interior Ministry, the Industry Ministry, the Pollution Control Department, the Customs Department, the Royal Thai Police Office and the Internal Security Operations Command to study how best to put an immediate ban on imports of hazardous waste.

Lt Gen Khongcheep quoted Gen Prawit as saying that Section 44 of the interim constitution could be used if existing laws were inadequate.

Gen Prawit also ordered work begin on a proposal to end the importation of all electronic waste.

Wednesday's meeting was told there were 148 waste sorting plants in the country and 90% of them had improper sorting systems. There were seven waste disposal and recycling plants. All of them belonged to Chinese operators, and five of them were found operating illegally, Lt Gen Khongcheep said.

Gen Prawit also ordered a strict watch for, and rejection of, illegal waste imports.

Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said later that authorities would consider a ban on imports of any kind of waste, including electronic scrap, that does benefit the country.

Police on Tuesday searched Dexin Industries Co on Thanasit Road in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan, after a finding it discharged untreated wastewater from its waste recycling process. The Chinese operators had fled.