Illegal waste shipped to Sri Lanka returned to the UK: A total of 21 waste containers has been brought back to England after being illegally exported to Sri Lanka .
Having been shipped to Sri Lanka in 2017, local authorities discovered the containers – which held illegal materials described as mattresses and carpets, and were exported for reuse.
Environment Agency (EA) enforcement officers in England will now seek to validate the types of waste illegally shipped & who exported it.
Those responsible may face a custodial sentence of up to two years, an unlimited fine and the recovery of money & assets gained during the duration of their criminal activity.
In 2018/19, the Environment Agency stopped around 13,000 tonnes of waste from leaving England, which were intended for illegal export globally.
In order to target and disrupt those who try to export waste illegally to other countries, officers work closely with Border Force, HMRC, police forces and environmental regulators in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland
Malcolm Lythgo, Head of Waste Regulation at the Environment Agency announced: “We are determined to stop this illegal trade and we have officers inspecting waste shipments at ports across England every day. Wherever we find illegal activity, we stop the waste being exported.
“There are stringent international rules in place to stop contaminated waste being shipped to unsuspecting countries which could harm their citizens and the environment and we will be thoroughly investigating this consignment to track down those responsible. Producers of waste should make sure it does not get handed illegally by their contractors – out of sight should not be out of mind.
“Those exporting waste should be under no illusion – if we find waste being shipped illegally then we will take action.”
Illegal waste shipped to Sri Lanka returned to the UK