Malaysia Promises to Send Back Neglected Plastic Waste to its Countries
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin told reporters, after a visit to Port Klang, to inspect ten containers with shipped waste:
"Malaysia won't continue to be a dumping ground for the developed nations and those responsible for destroying our ecosystem with these illegal activities are traitors. We view the perpetrators of this act as traitors to the country's sustainability, and therefore, they should be stopped and brought to justice. Meanwhile, we will send these ten containers back to where it came from."
Last January 2018, China refused to accept more plastic waste from other countries. Contamination was the leading cause. China no longer takes other countries' waste unless they are considered 99.5% clean. As a result, Malaysia has turned into the leading plastic waste destination. Yet, the same contamination issue remained.
Malaysia is not happy for being the World's bin
This conflict emerged last April after Canada received clear orders from the Philippines to take back 69 shipping containers. They brought trash that waited six years in Canadian ports.
Since Malaysia opened its doors to receive plastic from developed nations, several recycling factories entered the game. The problem was, they had no government licenses to handle the waste. Most of them simply decided to burn or discharge unwanted plastic waste in the landfill. Naturally, as the air became toxic to breathe, several complaints arose.
While investigating the containers, a combination of "clean" recyclables covering dirty, non-recyclable materials was found. They traveled the oceans this way in an attempt to hide them and make them somebody else's problem.
Notwithstanding, Yeo doesn't blame only the countries where contaminated and low-quality plastic waste took its origin (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh). The minister equally condemns the "traitors" that acted as "so-called recycling companies." They were the ones who imported the waste in.
This scenario made Yeo declare that if any illegal waste comes into Malaysia, it will go against the Environment Quality Act (EQA) 1974.
The developed World is warned
By the end of the year, 50 containers worthing around 3.000 metric tonnes of waste will travel back to their owners, after concluding inspections. This compromises over 7 million tonnes of plastic scrap per year.
Yeo Bee Yin sent a clear message to the ones that don't take care of their own trash. She says that it is unacceptable to send illegal and contaminated waste to other countries such as Malaysia, which has less capability and infrastructure to handle it.
Keywords: Malaysia, plastic waste, recycling, Yeo Bee Yin, environment