Ecuador’s imports of plastic waste were equivalent to $ 3.6 million in 2018. The figure is a little higher than that imported in 2017 and that was worth $ 1.7 million. These imports that serve plastics and synthetic spinning industries were mainly made from the US, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Panama.
This was explained by representatives of the productive sectors of the country, after the British newspaper The Guardian published a report that included Ecuador among the countries that import plastic waste from the United States.
The Guardian article titled: ‘Where is your plastic going? A global investigation reveals the dirty secret of the United States. ‘ It also indicates that “waste” is making its way around the world and overwhelming the poorest nations. ” The British newspaper, which does not give details of the case of Ecuador, maintains that the US I would be exporting contaminated waste.
No import restriction
On the subject, Luis Naranjo, head of the Economic area and projects of the Chamber of Commerce of Quito, explained that in Ecuador at least two types of industries import recyclable waste from several countries. They use it to produce synthetic yarn and plastic trash bags. Ensures that there is no restriction to import this type of waste.
Companies are forced to import, because on several occasions the country’s recycled plastics, which are raw materials for their products, are not enough. He also commented that within the country there should be better recycling policies, but in Ecuador there is no recycling culture, which is why mixing of plastic products with other organic products is allowed.
Take advantage of recycling
Caterina Acosta, president of the Chamber of Industries of Guayaquil, confirmed that plastic waste does arrive in the country, but in a low percentage. He explained that for producers and environmentalists the reuse of post-consumption and post-industrial waste is positive. He explained that the most developed countries recover waste through recycling processes.
In Ecuador, an example of this is the payment for plastic bottles, which are processed and recovered. He also explained that the technology of certain Ecuadorian companies is highly developed, to such an extent that they can be reused and generate recycled products that serve for use in the food sector. As for polyethylenes, products such as banana sheaths are generated. The industry in the country adds value to this raw material, he explained.
Estefanía Ávalos, vice minister (s) of Environment, said that the British newspaper’s report is far from the truth, and that Ecuador has not been and will not be a garbage collector of any country.