BUTTERWORTH (Jan 20): Malaysia will send back a total of 110 containers comprising illegal shipment of plastic waste back to their countries of origin by the middle of this year.
Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin said of the total, 60 were from the United States, 15 from Canada, 14 from Japan, nine from the United Kingdom, eight from Belgium, and one each from Mexico, Hungary, France and Jamaica.
“Now, these 110 containers, weighing up to 20 tonnes each, will be sent to their countries of origin by mid-year.
“We do not need to pay a single cent as the cost of sending back the waste will be fully borne by the shipping liners and importers,” she told reporters after inspecting the containers at North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT), here today.
However, Yeo said the government will launch an action plan on illegal plastic importation next month that will help the different agencies to coordinate enforcement and speed up the process of returning the waste.
“This is not about money, it is about dignity and Malaysia cannot become the world’s dumping ground,” she said.
Meanwhile, the minister said despite the dropped in the number of illegal plastic recycling factories nationwide, the enforcement activity against such factories will continue.
“There will be reports that some factories reopen and resume operations after being ordered to close but we will close them again and again. We will see who is more persistence as we will continue and will not give up on this.
“We will continue until there is no place for this kind of illegal activities in Malaysia,” she said.