Over 7.4 million tonnes of unwanted plastic waste has been sitting in the North Butterworth Container Terminal, Penang for the last six months
About half of the containers were imported from Canada, while the rest came from Belgium, Hong Kong, France, and Germany
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.