Science

Plastic waste from Bangladesh found shipped into Malaysia

Plastic waste from Bangladesh found shipped into Malaysia”

The waste that was displayed included cables from the United Kingdom, contaminated milk cartons from Australia and compact discs from Bangladesh.

Malaysian officials have identified at least 14 origin countries, including the United States, Japan, France, Canada, Australia and Britain, for its unwanted waste.

Green groups from Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines, have called on their respective governments to strictly enforce policies and bans on shipped wastes after the discovery of garbage from developed countries flooding communities in the region.

Plastic waste exports to Malaysia have tripled since 2016 to 870,000 tonnes a year ago, with the rise fuelled by China's decision...

Last week, the Philippines announced it would ship back dozens of containers of garbage that Filipino officials said were illegally shipped to the country from Canada in 2013 to 2014.

Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC), Yeo Bee Yin (C) shows samples of plastics waste shipment from Australia before sending back to the country of origin in Port Klang, west of Kuala Lumpur on May 28.

Workers open a container full of non-recyclable plastic detained by authorities at the west port in Klang, Malaysia, Tuesday, May 28, 2019.

Last year, China banned plastic waste imports as part of an initiative to clean up its environment.

Ten of the containers are due to be shipped back within two weeks.

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Malaysia is refusing to become a dumping ground for the world's rubbish, vowing to return 450 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste to the countries that shipped it to them.

"We urge developed countries to stop shipping garbage to our country", Yeo said, adding that it was unfair and uncivilised.

The Malaysian Government has clamped down on dozens of illegal plastic recycling facilities that had mushroomed across the country, shutting more than 150 plants since July.

Five containers of waste were returned to Spain last month.

That prompted a diplomatic spat with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, which saw him recall his ambassador to Ottawa.

The Philippines, however, rejected Canada's plan and will look for a private shipping company to rapidly transport the garbage to Canadian territory.

Yeo said 60 containers stacked with contaminated waste were smuggled in, en route to illegal processing facilities in Malaysia, and would be sent back to their countries of origin.

Yeo said citizens of developed nations were largely unaware that their rubbish, which they think is being recycled, is instead mostly being dumped in Malaysia, where it is disposed of using environmentally harmful methods.



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