Home / News / 🌏 Why is Southeast Asia the world's dumping ground? | The Stream

🌏 Why is Southeast Asia the world's dumping ground? | The Stream



‘Recycling’ brings to mind an intensive process where used plastic, metal and paper is cleaned and re-purposed. But a great deal of apparently recyclable rubbish often ends up being dumped in countries across Southeast Asia.

The region became a market of choice for waste exporters in 2017 after China announced strict restrictions on imports of certain types of solid waste, as well as shipments of material contaminated with items that cannot be reprocessed. Waste and scrap exports from countries including the US, UK, France, Canada and Australia are now directed to Southeast Asian countries. Incoming material is seldom salvaged or recycled – it usually goes straight into unmanaged landfill or is incinerated, polluting the air and waterways and imperiling the health of both people and wildlife.

Now there are signs that countries in the region have had enough. Earlier this month Indonesia declared it will send 210 tons of unsorted hazardous material back to Australia. In May Malaysia rejected 3,000 tons of imported rubbish. And the Philippine government sent 69 containers of mixed household and electrical waste from Canada that had festered in port for five years.

We’ll look at the impact that an avalanche of waste is having on communities across Southeast Asia and ask what’s needed worldwide to deal more ethically and responsibly with the rubbish we leave behind.

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26 comments

  1. Thank you for watching, everybody. More from The Stream here: aljazeera.com/thestream

  2. It's easy to throw waste to your neighbours garden and call self clean and civilized. But I think in modern context a real civilized society would never litter the world in the first place. It's time we must start acting on it, and to start we must begin with ourselves.

  3. HEY,I HAVE AN IDEEA: SHIP ALL GARBAGE REGARDLESS OF CONTENT OR ORIGIN TO ANTARCTICA! LOTS OF SPACE IN THERE! MILIONS OF SQUARE KMs WHERE NOBODY LIVES AND WILL NEVER LIVE SINCE THERE'S MINUS 90 DEGREES CELCIUS MOST OF THE TIME! DIG A BIG HOLE AND SHIP ALL GARBAGE THERE! PROBLEM SOLVED 🙂

  4. Need some technology that can recycle the plastic garbage it self. And need global action to taking care about this issues.

  5. rich western countries have NASA (U.S ), ESA (EU), along with Japan, China, and Russia have space programs….. can they just blast their waste directly to the SUN… its our solar systems natural incinerator…. a suggestion only if there is no effect to the sun that leads to more catastrophic problem to our solar system….

  6. …developing countries where told that recyclable
    waste from rich western countries can be beneficial as it provides work and is a profitable business.. .

    but logic and a simple common sense can see through the sweet rhetoric of its benefits, why would poor developing countries waste money to have recycling plants when even rich western countries with their vast resources cant even privide one for their own? it would make more sense if the whole idea be reversed, like developing countries ship their recyclable waste to rich western countries as they have the budget and technology to build such high standard recycling plants….

    rich western countries instead waste their money on wars and high tech military equipment that has no other use but to kill people…. "intelligence leads to stupidity…"

  7. They should dump their trash on Chumps golf courses! Lol

  8. not only export garbage but they also flocking to South East Asian countries as a low quality tourists/expats too.

  9. The West hypocrisy make me sick!!

  10. 9:42 that's in 2018. Better get a recent video aljazeera you have people here working in a Huge Local TV networks. Ask them for videos. Government is doing something already that other administrations didn't do.

  11. Auckland NZ exports all its plastic waste to Malaysia/Asia etc . They have not imposed any restrictions on manufacturers apart from the recent plastic bag ban. The NZ Government has money for climate change propaganda but not real pollution. 1.4 Bill a year to meet climate control propaganda and 350 mill for climate change to keep up with the Paris accord BS. I think it is time they did a plastic/waste accord. And Why ???? are the students not striking …..didn't they get the memo. Or were they too busy being led by people like Al Gore.

  12. Islam turns lands into dead garbage dumps

  13. I appreciate Aljazeera reporting and this channel cover all issues around the world .Keep it up !

  14. We need to start desposing are trash in space maybe towards the sun

  15. I've seen how cool Germany organizing n fixing wastes. But still we found their chemical wastes exported to Indonesia. Specially waste from medics that contains blood and wastes from surgeries 😒😓

  16. Stop buying junk from cheap manufacturers. Cheaply made products just end up in landfills or where they were produced in the first place.

  17. The same reason Africa is too.
    Racism.

  18. Because they take the trash in obviously, you dolts. It isn't forced upon them. Wah wah wah poor little victims.

  19. Good to see the new Malaysian Government advocating for the Malaysian environment. As a naturalized New Zealander with roots in Malaysia, I think developed countries including NZ need to recycle their own rubbish. Processing our own rubbish could be a goal of the current Labour-led government in NZ.

  20. all the 'green-earth-movement' is just a f—king scam…keep your dirty rubbish in your own house….

  21. the world is just a sham!

  22. Even more of a reason to further pursue a low waste, low impact or zero waste lifestyle, whichever way you'd like to label it as. It is sad to see that this is happening to other countries and that their people are forced to deal with it, and then getting a hard time because of how things are there. I commend them for sending it back to the original country and making them deal with it instead!

  23. Plastic send to my country indonesia. I'am o said😢😈😈😈

  24. Well what is the point of me recycling my waist if they are going to dump it in some other country i sort my wast into 4 separate recycling bins so why should i do that if they are going to ship it to other country's we should recycle our own waist. Just don't get that. Hate plastic bags especially plastic shopping bags i have jute bag

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