Over 7.4 Million Tonnes Of Unwanted Plastic Waste Was Just Discovered At Butterworth Port

The 265 containers had been sitting in the port for six months.

Cover image via Phee Boon Poh/Facebook (Edited by SAYS)

Over 7.4 million tonnes of unwanted plastic waste has been sitting in the North Butterworth Container Terminal, Penang for the last six months

Penang Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh (left).

Image via Phee Boon Poh/Facebook

New Straits Times reported that the waste is contained in 265 containers, weighing 28,000 tonnes each.

About half of the containers were imported from Canada, while the rest came from Belgium, Hong Kong, France, and Germany

An overview photo of 11 containers at the Customs Detention Depot.

Image via Phee Boon Poh/Facebook

Penang Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh shared that although 149 containers had been declared, they were done so under the code for household waste and without permits for plastic waste, reported New Straits Times.

"A total of 11 companies were responsible for importing the plastic and household waste. These companies, while legally set up, were found to be untruthful about their operations," Phee said at a press conference, together with Penang Customs Department director Datuk Saidi Ismail.

Phee shared that there are 135 containers left to be inspected, with the intention to send them back to their origin countries

However, Saidi said the inspection process may be a lengthy one, as the containers may very well be filled to the brim and could potentially be toxic.

"We need to be in full safety gear during the inspection, which can take up to one whole day for one container," he said.

The 130 containers which have been inspected were done so by the Penang Customs Department, together with Local Government and Housing Ministry's solid waste officer and Department of Environment.

Each container has been issued a RM1,000 compound, though the companies are appealing against it.

The discovery is just the latest in the fight against plastic waste in Malaysia:

For some activists, the fight has been a long and dangerous one:

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