450 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste which was found in Port Klang, Selangor last month will be sent back to their origin countries today, 28 May
In a press conference earlier today, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) Minister Yeo Bee Yin said that 10 containers will be sent back immediately.
She added that five containers have already been sent back to Spain.
Mestecc will also be conducting an inspection on more than 50 containers of plastic waste which were smuggled in.
Once the inspections are done, Yeo expects that a total of 3,000 tonnes of contaminated waste from 60 containers will be shipped back to their countries.
Together with the Department of Environment (DoE), Yeo said that 10 inspections have been conducted on 123 containers to date
These containers originated from countries that include the UK, the US, Japan, China, Spain, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Norway, and France.
The operations were led by DoE together with Royal Malaysian Customs, The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Port Klang Authority, National Solid Waste Management Department, and Westports Malaysia.
In one such case uncovered through investigations, a recycling company in UK had exported 1,000 containers - amounting to 50,000 tonnes of waste - in the last two years alone.
"We have not only found this one company, we have found a few companies from different countries," Yeo said.
Yeo added that the Ministry is compiling a list of these "so-called recycling companies" and will send the list of these names to their respective governments for further action and investigation.
"If they ship it to Malaysia, we will return it back without mercy."
The Bakri MP also condemned local players who have helped turn Malaysia into a dumping ground as "traitors" of their country
"We also view the Malaysians who actually import the garbage to Malaysia - they are traitors to the country's sustainability, and therefore they should be stopped and brought to justice," Yeo said during the press conference, adding that these traitors will be made to pay for shipment of garbage back to its exporters.
"Malaysians are forced to suffer poor air quality due to open burning of plastics, which leads to health hazards, polluted rivers, illegal landfills, and a host of other related environmental problems.
“Malaysians like any other developing countries have a right to clean air, clean water, sustainable resources, and clean environment to live in just like citizens of developed nations," she explained.
Meanwhile, the Perak Department of Environment (DoE) has rubbished claims by UK media outlets that Ipoh had become a plastic waste dumping ground
Perak DoE director Norazizi Adinan told Malay Mail in a WhatsApp message that the waste was actually kept in a premise that processes plastic in IGB Industrial Park.
He added that the premise was operating legally with a license issued by the Ipoh City Council.
"It also adhere(s) to our requirements and we do monitor it periodically," Norazizi said.
Yeo also explained during the press conference that the waste in Ipoh had come from an illegal dumping ground in Kuala Langat for proper disposal.
Additionally, the company involved - Resourceco Asia (M) Sdn Bhd - explained that the footage from the supposed exposé could have come from a trespassing incident that happened last year.
A police report on the incident had been lodged on 14 December.