Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 19 (UNI) Kerala today directed the customs authorities to send back three containers from New York that contain about 60 tonnes of plastic, glass and metal pieces and other municipal wastes.
Stringent action would be initiated against the Kochi-based paper manufacturing company, which imported municipal waste from the US under the guise of waste paper, Kerala Health Minister P K Sreemathy told newspersons here.
The company would have to bear the entire cost for sending the rubbish back to its place of origin. ''We want to give a clear signal to the US and other developed countries that Kerala cannot be made a dumping ground for them,'' she added.
The three containers landed at the Kochi port recently was subjected to detailed examination by the Pollution Control Board, following reports that they contained hazardous waste.
The Minister said in the examination, it was found that more than 40 per cent of the 60 tonnes was plastic, bio-degradable food waste, glass and metal pieces, cartridges of photocopiers and other municipal waste.
''These shipments should be sent back immediately. We will also take up the matter with the Centre,'' she added.
It was ironic that the company attempted to import such a huge quantity of municipal waste at a time when the Government launched a crusade against plastic and other wastes in the wake of spread of infectious diseases, she said.