Daily Management Review

Plastic Waste Exported To Malaysia To Be Sent Back To Countries Of Origin


05/29/2019




Malaysia is attempting to prevent itself from becoming a dumping ground for rich nations and as a part of this effort, the country would be sending back non-recyclable plastic waste of about 3,000 metric tons (3,300 tons) from the country to countries such as the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, said Malaysia’s Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin.
 
Following the last year ban by China of importing plastic waste, new target of sending plastic waste has become Malaysia and many developing countries, Yeo said. Dozens of containers of garbage which were imported into Philippines from Canada in 2013 to 2014 would be sent back, said Filipino officials last week.
 
Malaysia would be sending back to their countries of origin about 60 containers filled up with contaminated waste that were smuggled into the country and were destined to reach illegal processing facilities in the country, Yeo said. She added that at least 10 off those containers would be shipped back to their countries of origin within the next two weeks. The minister also exhibited the contents of the waste at a port outside Kuala Lumpur to reporters.
 
A large quantity of electronic and household waste from the U.S., Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia and China, compact discs from Bangladesh, contaminated milk cartons from Australia and cables from the UK were part of the items displayed at the port. The plastic waste imported from China was apparently waste materials from France and other countries and had been rerouted to Malaysia after the ban of such imports into China, Yeo said.
 
More than 50,000 metric tons (55,000 tons) of plastic waste in about 1,000 containers had been shipped to Malaysia over the past two years by a recycling company in the UK, in just one case alone, Yeo said.
 
"This is probably just the tip of the iceberg (due) to the banning of plastic waste by China," Yeo told a news conference. "Malaysia will not be a dumping ground to the world ... we will fight back. Even though we are a small country, we can't be bullied by developed countries."
 
Following the cropping of dozens of illegal plastic recycling facilities across Malaysia, the government had cracked down on them and more than 150 such factories had been shut down since July last year. Five containers of waste was sent to Spain earlier this month by the Malaysian government.
 
China's plastic waste ban had "opened up the eyes of the world to see that we have a huge garbage and recycling problem," Yeo said.
 
Philippines wants to forcibly send back dozens of containers of garbage to Canada, threatened its President Rodrigo Duterte and following a failure of Canada to adhere to a May 15 deadline to take back the garbage, the government in Philippines has also recalled back its ambassador and consuls in Canada.
 
Diligent separation of waste for recycling is done by the citizens in rich countries, Yeo said, but such garbage ends up being dumped in the developing countries where they are illegally recycling resulting in environmental and health threats.
 
"We urge the developed countries to review their management of plastic waste and stop shipping the garbage out to the developing countries," she said, calling such practices "unfair and uncivilized."
 
(Source:www.abcnews.go.com)






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