Plastics and politics may have seemed an unlikely pairing once upon a time. That is no longer true. As awareness of environmental issues gains ground globally, politicians have come under pressure to act. Two recent decisions taken by the governments of the Philippines and Malaysia point to this change in sentiment.
As the world marked World Environment Day yesterday, over 60 shipping containers of rubbish were making their way back to Canada from the Philippines, following a very public push by President Rodrigo Duterte to have Canadians take back their own trash. "I cannot understand why they're making us a dump site," Mr Duterte said at a news conference last month, referring to the tonnes of household waste, plastic bottles and bags, and assorted non-recyclable waste at the centre of a diplomatic spat with Canada. The garbage had been billed as "recyclable plastic".