Film Waste Finally Sent Back to South Korea

Film waste stored for two months in the port of Sihanouk­ville has been transported back to its country of origin, officials said Thursday.

The roughly 650 tons of film scraps were slated to be sent back to South Korea in July, but the shipment was delayed by poor weather conditions, said Si­ha­noukville Port Director Lou Kim Chuun.

The containers, which experts have said are non-toxic, left the port on Sept 11, Sihanoukville officials said.

Heng Nareth, pollution control director at the Ministry of Envi­ron­ment, said the shipment also was delayed because it received increased scrutiny by environmental officials as it was packaged for shipment.

Heng Nareth said the waste eventually was packed into plastic bags and then loaded into a total of 65 plastic containers be­fore shipment.

The film waste dump drew at­tention early this year, after a scan­dal erupted over mercury-tainted waste also dumped in Siha­noukville. That waste since has been shipped back to Tai­wan.

The film scraps arrived in Cambodia in late 1997 from a now-defunct Korean company hoping to sell it to a local enterprise, Saphat International Co, that in turn planned to recycle the waste to make nylon rope, company officials said in July.

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