Ban on import of plastic wastes criticised

IPOH: A group of plastic recycling manufacturers are upset with a ruling to ban the import of plastic wastes which are required for production. 

The 21 factory owners are also against the decision to appoint only three companies to handle and manage plastic waste materials in the country. 

"We will be definitely out of business and our workers will be out of a job," said manager Leong Chong Yip of Creator Plastic Sdn Bhd. 

The ruling, issued by International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) on July 4, bans all waste, parings and scraps of plastics under HS Code 39.15 effective Oct 1. 

Miti had cited contamination and potential damage to the environment as reason for the five-year ban that would be reviewed after the period. 

Plastic recycling factories required those plastic wastes under the code as raw materials for their production, said Leong at a press conference organised by Perak DAP on Monday. 

"Without those raw materials, we might as well close down," she said, adding that not all the plastic scraps under the HS Code 39.15 were unclean and toxic. 

Leong, whose factory produces recycled plastic material to be exported to China and Indonesia, said the Government must look at how to regulate the import of the plastic scraps instead of a blanket ban. 

Another factory owner Tan Thean Yat said it was unfair to appoint only three companies to handle and manage plastic waste materials. 

Tan, whose manufacturing plant is located at Pusing, near here, said a monopoly by the three companies could lead to unfair competition and consumers would be "held to ransom" in terms of the fees imposed on the handling and management of plastic waste materials. 

"We don't want a situation where consumers do not have a choice on the matter," he added. 

DAP Socialist Youth chief Nga Kor Ming, who was at the press conference, said there were at least 1,000 plastic recycling factories in the country, which would be affected by the ruling and the appointment of only three companies to handle and manage plastic waste materials. 

He said a memorandum on the matter would soon be handed over to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

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