The country's environment minister, Yeo Bee Yin, shared how she has ordered 3,737 metric tons of waste to be returned to 13 countries on Monday. These countries are France, the United Kingdom, the US and Canada.
In an effort to curb the illegal trafficking of plastic waste, Malaysia has sent back 150 shipments of plastic trash to rich countries, including France, the United Kingdom, Canada, and United States. Malasia has been flooded with shipping containers filled with illegal plastic waste since 2008, has finally decided not to be the 'garbage dump' of the world, reports CNN. When China began cracking down on its recycling industry to remove unauthorized dumping of plastic waste and tackle its biggest pollution problems, Malaysia became a major target.
Malaysia has sent back 150 shipping containers of plastic waste to rich countries including the United States, United Kingdom, France and Canada, insisting it won't be the "garbage dump" of the world. https://t.co/tBU4eilFCU— CNN (@CNN) 20 January 2020
The Malaysian government has attempted to seize the dumping of such garbage and has even returned shipments in the past. CNN reported, the country's environment minister, Yeo Bee Yin, shared how she has ordered 3,737 metric tons of waste to be returned to 13 countries on Monday to tackle the reputation that has tainted the country. Of the 150 containers, 42 containers were returned to the UK and 43 to France, while 17 of them will be sent back to the US and Canada receives 11.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Yeo Bee Yin expressed how the country wished to combat the issue of illegal waste being dumped. She wrote: To date, MESTECC, through the Department of Environment (DOE) has repatriated 150 containers, with approximately 3,737 metric tonnes of plastic wastes that were illegally brought into Malaysia. The repatriation exercise does not have any cost implication to the government. The costs were either borne by the exporters or by the shipping liners. This is an unprecedented move by Malaysia. The Malaysian government is serious about combating the import of illegal wastes as we do not want to be the garbage bin of the world.
Two years ago, China banned imports of plastic waste to clean up its environment. This decision caused a used ripple effect across the globe as middlemen were forced to look for new destinations to dump the garbage, and Malaysia suffered the brunt of it. In a recent report by Greenpeace, it was found that in merely the first seven months of 2018, exports of plastic waste from the US to Malaysia had more than doubled as compared to the previous year. This comes shortly after the Philippines got into a row with Canada over them dumping tons of plastic trash last year and the country has agreed to take back the waste they have discarded there.
Malaysia has sent a strong message to the rest of the world....'WE ARE NOT YOUR RUBBISH DUMP. YOUR TRASH. YOUR PROBLEM!'— Boomerang Alliance (@BoomAlliance) 20 January 2020
Australia needs to act NOW on development of domestic recycling infrastructure instead of discussing and dithering🙄🙄#plasticfreehttps://t.co/mQH1M56yJE
Now Malaysia is taking this plastic problem very seriously, as it became one of 187 counties that agreed to add plastic to the Basel Convention in May. The Basel Convention is a treaty that monitors the movement of hazardous materials from one country to another, to battle the serious effects of plastic pollution worldwide. The US did not sign up for the same.