The move comes after China banned the import of plastic waste
Malaysia will return 450 tonnes of plastic waste to developed countries
CNN reports that Malaysia is refusing to be the world’s dumping ground and will return 450 tonnes of plastic waste to developed countries.
Malaysia and other developing countries have been targeted as dumping grounds since China banned the import of plastic waste.
Canada, US, UK, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Netherlands, and Singapore will all have their waste returned to them over the coming weeks.
Yeo Bee Yin, minister of energy, science, technology, environment and climate change, said Malaysia will not be “bullied” but bigger countries.
“This is probably just the tip of the iceberg due to the banning of plastic waste by China,” Ms Yeo said. “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.”
60 containers with contaminated waste were smuggled to illegal processing facilities in Malaysia. 10 of these containers will be returned within two weeks.
Waste items included cables from the UK, contaminated milk cartons from Australia, CDs from Bangladesh and electronic and household waste from the US, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia and China.
Ms Yeo said that a UK recycling company shipped over 50,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste in 1,000 containers to Malaysia over 2 years.
“We urge the developed countries to review their management of plastic waste and stop shipping the garbage out to the developing countries,” she said, adding that Malaysian companies illegally importing the waste were “traitors to the country’s sustainability”.