18 Jul 2009

Imported UK trash not wanted in Brazil

5:18 pm on 18 July 2009

Some 1200 tonnes of garbage from Britain is rotting at two ports in Brazil after arriving there in container ships.

Officials say the trash, which arrived earlier this year, was destined for Brazilian companies that said they were expecting shipments of recyclable plastic.

Instead, port officials found the containers were packed with trash, ranging from chemical toilet seats, dirty disposable nappies, used syringes, food remnants and computer pieces.

Brazil's federal prosecution office asked the foreign ministry on Thursday to request that Britain take back the shipments.

IBAMA environment agency president Roberto Messias said: "Clearly, Brazil is not a big rubbish dump of the world."

IBAMA has imposed fines on the import companies involved in the shipments.

The British Embassy said in a statement it was investigating the case.

Both countries are signatories of the Basel Convention on the movement of hazardous waste, which came into force in 1992.