Hazardous UK Waste Returned by Brazil

Three British men have been arrested after approximately 1500 tonnes of hazardous waste sent from the UK has been refused by Brazil.

The waste was labelled as recyclable plastic but according to the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Resources it actually contained hospital and domestic waste including used syringes, dirty nappies and condoms.

The 81 containers arrived at Brazilian ports between February and May this year and on Wednesday were returned to the UK from the port of Santos.

Before they can dispose of the contents safely The Environment Agency will examine the loads and Brazil’s Government has said it will make a formal complaint to the World Trade Organisation regarding the deliveries as under the Basel Convention industrialised nations are banned not permitted to send toxic waste abroad. It is legal to export waste for recycling but not disposal.

The three men were arrested after three properties were raided in July and have been bailed until October.