Sat 07 November 2020:
Tunisian authorities have seized thousands of tonnes of harmful waste imported from Italy following an investigative report broadcast by local TV.
According to RT, the Tunisian authorities blocked 70 containers of the waste at the Port of Sousse in order to return them to Italy, after checking an extra 200 containers including thousands of tonnes of waste.
In a press release, the Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment said that a multipartite meeting was held to discuss the issue and it was decided to refuse all new containers and to return all previously imported quantities to the source.
The ministry reiterated that it did not issue a licence for the import of waste from abroad, and announced the opening of an investigation into the issue.
Reports by Tunisian media stated that 70 containers of waste from Italy with 120 tonnes of rubbish, including hospital waste, will be seized upon arrival at the Port of Sousse.
More than 200 other containers coming from Italy, the reports stated, would remain at the port to be checked. Reports expect that all the waste will be returned to the source.
Tunisia concluded an agreement with an Italian company for the import of 120,000 tonnes of waste per year, at a cost of 48€ per tonne. The imports should be recyclable plastic waste, but the authorities confirmed that they are not recyclable and are therefore dumped in Tunisian soil.
Photo: Volunteers busy collecting waste from a beach in Tunisia.
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