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© Steve Allen

It seems South-east Asia has had enough of all the rubbish. In this case, literally. The Guardian reports that over the past 12 months, western waste has been gathering along the shores of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. In April a Malaysian government investigation revealed that waste from the UK, Australia, the US and Germany was pouring into the country illegally, falsely declared as ‘other imports’. Malaysia sent back five containers of illegal rubbish from Spain and this week said it would return 3,000 tonnes of illegally imported plastic waste from the UK, the US, Australia, Japan, France and Canada. Never one to mince words, president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte threatened last week to sever diplomatic ties with Canada unless it took back 69 containers’ worth of rubbish – amounting to some 1,500 tonnes. Adding further threats, Duterte said if Canada did not collect its junk, Filipino ships would tow it to Canadian waters and dump it there.

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