The public uproar over the arrival in Morocco of 2,500 tons of waste has forced the Moroccan government to finally end the controversy surrounding waste - a stunning win for Morocco's environment movement
|Mustapha El Khalfi - "Morocco will ban waste imports"|
Following a cabinet meeting the Communications Minister Mustapha Khalfi announced that Morocco had decided to ban the import of waste from Italy.
Silvia Velo, Italy's Under the Secretary for the Environment, had claimed that the 2,500 tons of waste shipped June 17 to Morocco was not dangerous. She said in essence that it was the debris of plastic, cardboard and wood in particular. However, the newspaper Le Monde and the Italian Health Institute both confirm the high toxicity of waste imported from Italy. Earlier, Moroccan officials had claimed that the Italian waste is safe.
The Italian Parliament has just received a report from the Institute of Hygiene confirming the danger of such waste on humans and on the environment. The same report indicates that the burning or burial of such wastes cause chronic diseases especially in infants and children. The report points out that such waste can cause cancer and burial causes the poisoning of groundwater.
The Moroccan authorities decided on a second analysis of waste. If the analysis shows non-compliance of with current standards, incineration permits will not be issued by the Ministry, and "the waste will be returned to the country of origin at the expense of cement factories who intended to burn the waste," said environment Minister Hakima El Haite.
There have been loud calls for the resignation of the Environment Minister. On a possible resignation or dismissal of the Minister of the Environment Hakima Elhaité El Khalfi simply replied: "This issue was not raised at the Council of the Government."