Vietnam firm fined for importing plastic waste

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The Da Nang administration Wednesday fined a company VND100 million (US$4,800) for importing more than 137 tons of plastic waste into the city's port.

Phong Bac, a private company exporting handicrafts to Taiwan, imported the waste from Japan on June 13. The waste was discovered a week later when the city's environment police checked the containers.

The city has not announced what it would do with the waste.

In late 2010, a raft of such garbage imports were found in major ports including Hai Phong, Quang Ninh and Ho Chi Minh City, prompting officials to warn that Vietnam could become a dumping ground for other countries if the illegal importation of toxic waste was not stopped.

The companies were paid by other countries to clear their waste, resulting in the import of all sorts of waste, although the law only allows for the importation of scrap metal that directly serves production purposes.

A company in Ho Chi Minh City was brought to court in 2010 for illegally importing 140 tons of waste, but the hearing was not concluded.

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