Southeast Asian countries commit to combat sea trash

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

Southeast Asian countries agree to fight trash at sea, particularly plastic waste and its expected harm to marine life and human health. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 22) — Southeast Asian countries have agreed to fight trash at sea, particularly plastic waste and its expected harm to marine life and human health.

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including the Philippines, signed Saturday onto the Bangkok Declaration which encourages countries in the region to adopt the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris.

Among the actions under the framework is to encourage member states to implement international laws and agreements related to marine wastes, including the Basel Convention which regulates the movement of hazardous materials from one country to another.

The governments of 187 countries have amended this treaty last month to also regulate the movement of plastic waste across borders. Countries would now need prior consent from countries receiving the plastic waste before they are shipped in.

The Bangkok Declaration comes as several Southeast Asian nations, including Malaysia and the Philippines, have reported receiving trash from developed nations and have since been shipping these back to their countries of origin as they refuse to be a dumping ground for the world’s trash.

Aside from calling for a stricter implementation of local and international laws, the declaration also urges Southeast Asian nations to strengthen research on combating marine waste and increase public awareness on the issue.

The United Nations Environment Programme reported last year that half of the world’s plastic waste comes from just five countries — China, and ASEAN members Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.