Malaysia has shipped 150 containers of plastic waste estimated at 3,737 tonnes, to its exporting country since the third quarter last year.
Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, Yeo Bee Yin, said the repatriation of containers mostly to developed countries had no financial implications to the government.
Yeo said all the containers were shipped via the three main ports of the country, the West and North Port of Klang, Penang and Sarawak.
The cost of shipping the plastic waste containers is borne by the importer or shipping company, and this is the first time in the country’s history that it has been shipped back on a large scale.
“The government is serious about the issue of illegal plastic waste entry into the country and will take appropriate action to ensure that Malaysia does not become a global barrel,” Bee Yin told a press conference on Monday.
Earlier, Bee Yin saw the handling and delivery process of plastic solid waste containers to their home country at the North Butterworth Container Terminal Port (NBCT), here.
Out of the 150 solid waste containers, 40 containers were exporters from France, the United Kingdom (42), the United States (17), Canada (11), Spain (10) and Hong Kong with nine containers.
It was followed by five containers from Japan, Singapore (4), Portugal (3), China (3) while Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Lithuania each had one container.
Bee Yin said about 110 containers of plastic solid waste would be shipped back to exporting countries by mid-year.
He said of the total, 60 containers were from the United States, Canada (15), Japan, (14), the United Kingdom (9), Belgium (8), and many other countries.
“So far, we have not received any objections from the countries involved, all responding well and cooperating,” he said.
He also said that the government would launch the National Action Plan for Plastic Waste Enforcement (HS 3915) next month to standardize field enforcement activities in the field by relevant agencies.
Environment minister said the procedure is expected to involve the DOE, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, the National Waste and Solid Waste Management Department , the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation and the port authorities.