The GuardianThe Guardian

‘Waste colonialism’: world grapples with west’s unwanted plastic

By Ruth Michaelson

31 Dec 2021 · 7 min read

One hundred and 41 containers filled with rotting plastic waste have been on a journey for more than a year. Scattered between Turkey, Greece and Vietnam, far from their origins in Germany, the containers’ voyage sheds light on the hidden global trade in plastic waste.

Arriving in Turkey in late 2020, shortly before a ban on mixed plastic waste imports came into force, the containers quickly became the centre of a battle between traders, a shipping line, multiple governments and environmental campaigners demanding their return.

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