Brazil to inquire UK about ‘exported’ waste

Brazilian police are investigating several national and UK companies after 64 containers with over 1,400 tonnes of hazardous waste were found in three southern ports in Santos and Rio Grande do Sul.

The Federal Public Ministry, the Brazilian prosecuting service, demanded the Foreign Ministry to inquire the UK about the waste that was sent to Brazil, reports Agencia Brasil.

The Brazilian government must urge the UK to take it back, say the FPM. The government has 10 days to inform on urgent actions adopted in the case of the illegal import of waste. 

The majority of the containers arrived at the Porto de Rio Grande, in the southern Rio Grande do Sul state, between February and May this year. They carried materials considered a health hazard such as batteries, syringes, medicine cartoons, leftover food, condoms and hospital waste – including apparently bags full of blood. .

Authorities fear this might be an attempt to use the country as a dumping ground for hazardous waste, something that has happened in Africa in the past. Five Brazilian companies have been fined – they claim they thought they were being sent plastic for recycling. Two UK companies are under investigation, and the embassy in Brazil said it will act promptly.