Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna speaks to reporters during a press conference on the Climate Action Incentive at a Canadian Tire store in Ottawa on Monday, March 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Canada hasn’t issued permits for companies to ship waste overseas, government says

Both Malaysia and the Philippines are shipping back unwanted Canadian waste

The federal government has issued no permits for Canadian companies to ship trash overseas since regulations changed three years ago — raising questions about how waste is still ending up on the shores of Asian nations.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says the 2016 changes were made to prevent more unwanted Canadian trash from being dumped on places such as the Philippines.

Her department today says no such permits have been given.

Still on Tuesday Malaysia said it is shipping back to Canada a container filled to bursting with Canadian garbage, which like the Philippines containers, was intended for recycling but was too contaminated with non-recyclables to be usable.

The latest garbage embarrassment is shining new light on what Greenpeace Canada calls the “myth of recycling.”

Environmental Defence program director Keith Brooks says most Canadians have no idea that when they dutifully drop their plastic packages and soda cans into blue bins, a lot of them still end up in landfills or burned in far-flung countries.

READ MORE: Burnaby facility to dispose of 1,500 tonnes of Canada’s trash from the Philippines

The Canadian Press


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