Malaysia says won't be 'garbage dump' as it returns waste

Malaysia says won't be 'garbage dump' as it returns waste”

On Monday, the government allowed media to film some of the containers being loaded onto cargo ships for the return voyage.

"If people want to see us as the rubbish dump of the world, you dream on", Ms Yeo told reporters during inspection at a port in northern Penang state. The containers held more than 3,700 tons of plastic waste, and originated from 13 countries.

Several Southeast Asian countries have sent back unwanted waste in recent months.

But these issues appear to have been ironed out, with even the exporters or shipping companies agreeing to foot the bill.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: "We continue to work with the shipping lines and Malaysian authorities to ensure all waste is brought back as soon as possible".

They were also exported from the United States (17), Canada (11), Spain (10), Japan (five) and Singapore (four).

Officials hope to send back another 110 containers in the near future, 60 of which came from the US, Yeo said. Canada also has 15 more containers, Japan 14, the United Kingdom 9 and Belgium 8 from 110 more containers that are still being held at Malaysian ports, she said.

Malaysia is also in the process of returning another 110 containers still at its ports while it prepares to launch a National Action Plan for the Importation of Plastic Waste in February.

"We don't want to pay a single cent", the minister said.

She added that a total of 393 plastic recycling factories were inspected past year and 218 were shut down for not following regulations.

Shipments of rubbish have been redirected to South East Asia since China banned the import of plastic waste in 2018, but Malaysia has joined a growing number of countries, including the Philippines and Indonesia, who are increasingly rejecting the undesired imports.

Illegal, often contaminated, plastic waste were sent in shipments that were mixed with genuine recyclable plastic.

Yeo said talks were ongoing with USA authorities to take back another 60 containers this year.

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