Sri Lanka Sending Waste Back to UK

Contaminated UK Waste abandoned near Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport.

Last year, we wrote to you about hundreds of shipping containers filled with waste from the United Kingdom (UK) that arrived at the port city of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The containers were filled with used mattresses, carpets, contaminated hospital waste, and more. ELAW partners at the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) have been fighting, for more than one year, to have the waste sent back to the UK and hold polluters accountable.
Hemantha Withanage, CEJ Executive Director, sends good news:
Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal has ordered 243 waste containers sent back to the UK, and requested Government authorities to take legal action against the companies involved in the illegal importation.
“Sri Lanka is not a dump for international waste,” says Hemantha. “This an important step in our fight for justice.”
ELAW’s legal team worked with Hemantha and provided model laws and policies from around the world that forbids international waste dumping.
Congratulations Hemantha and the CEJ team!
For more information, see:
Ada Derana, October 14, 2020
Court orders to send back 242 containers of illegal waste to Britain
ELAW Bulletin, August 20, 2019
Sri Lanka Rejects Contaminated UK Waste
The Guardian, July 25, 2019
Sri Lanka finds hazardous waste in UK metal recycling cargo

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide