"Won't Be Bullied By Developed Countries": Malaysia To Send Back Dumped Plastic Waste From UK, USA & Others
Malaysia will now send back 3000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste imported illegally from several countries including the USA, the UK, Australia, Japan, China and Bangladesh among others.
To combat the increasing menace of illegally imported plastic waste, the Malaysian government, on April 24 launched a joint task force. Since then, this formulated task force has carried out 10 operations, as reported by CNN.
‘Stop Shipping Garbage To Developing Countries’
At the press conference, Yeo Bee Yin, the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change of Malaysia, said, “We will work very hard to make sure that whoever sends their waste to Malaysia, we will send it back and we will fight back. Even though we are a small country, we cannot be bullied by developed countries.”
Local importers will be forced to bear the cost of returning the shipments, which is to be done within 14 days. Yeo said that if they failed to do so, the government will resort to using the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, which will involve a lengthier procedure and the exporters.
The ministry has inspected 123 containers from Singapore, Bangladesh, United States, Germany, Saudi Arabia, etc. From last July, the Malaysian government has cracked down on illegal imports of waste. Many unlicensed plastic recycling factories have been shut down in the recent past. They have been accused of burning unrecyclable waste which in turn release toxic fumes. These toxic fumes cause major health issues to those living around the area.
Between January and July 2018, Malaysia took 745,000 tonnes of plastic. This was almost 450,000 tonnes more than the 2017 number. The increased influx of garbage from several, mostly developed countries has posed to be a great environmental threat. A Greenpeace report said that within the first seven months of 2018, plastic garbage shipped from America to Malaysia more than doubled compared with the previous year.
Several illegal recycling factories started mushrooming in Malaysia after China banned plastic waste imports in January 2018. After China’s ban, Malaysia was overrun with the world’s plastic waste.
Interestingly, Malaysia’s decision comes after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sent 69 containers of garbage to Canada. Rodrigo had added that if they refuse to accept it, these containers would be left with Canada’s territorial waters. President Rodrigo has also recalled the Canadian ambassador from Ottawa.
Plastic – a convenience which is now choking the entire world. Malaysia, a small country has taken on developed countries and it is to be seen how India is going to solve the plastic problem. This article is part of a campaign to create awareness on environmental issues and the #ClimateCrisis that is impending on the earth.