[The Hwankyung Ilbo] The Ministry of Environment said it plans to further strengthen environmental safety management for waste items with high volume of imports, following the announcement of a plan to strengthen environmental safety management of imported coal ash on August 8.
This is because there is a great public concern about the radioactivity of imported waste, and the inflow of waste into the country continues to increase, with 2.54 million tons of imports reaching 15 times the export volume (170,000 tons) in 2018.
Of the 2.54 million tons of waste imported, coal ash accounts for half (1.27 million tons, 50%) of the total, followed by waste batteries (470,000 tons, 18.5%), waste tires (240,000 tons, 9.5%), and waste plastics (170,000 tons, 6.6%).
Until now, the Ministry of Environment has been checking the authenticity of radioactive (Cs-134, Cs-137 and I-131) inspection reports and heavy metal component analysis reports from authorized agencies submitted at the time of importation every quarter, but this will be checked once a month.
The Ministry of Environment plans to minimize the burden on Korean companies by forming a consultative body with related industries for each type of waste and seeking ways to expand the recycling of waste in Korea and support.
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