Joint ministerial committee to be set up: M'sia won't be plastic dumping ground

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 16 Oct 2018

This picture taken on June 4, 2018 shows a man sorting through used plastic bottles at a junkyard in Hanoi. -AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet has decided to set up a joint ministerial committee to look into ways of dealing with the import of plastic waste in the country.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the committee comprises her ministry, the Housing and Local Government Ministry, International Trade and Industry Ministry, as well as the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry.

"The Housing and Local Government Ministry will be the main coordinator of this committee.

"I would like to stress once again that we will do our best, and that the government is committed to ensure that Malaysia will not be a dumping ground of plastic waste for advanced nations," she said in reply to Ma'mun Sulaiman (PH-Kalabakan) during the Ministerial question time on Tuesday (Oct 16).

Yeo added the issue of imported plastic waste had become more serious due to China's ban on such material.

Following this, plastic waste are now sent to countries in the South-East Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

She said the ministry, through joint enforcement operations with other agencies, had conducted raids on illegal factories processing plastic waste.

Yeo said some 30 illegal factories had been closed. 

She added that the enforcement team had ensured that apart from the factories being sealed off, their electricity and water supplies were also cut off.

"I have also told the agencies to nab the operators of these factories — to investigate and bring them to court to ensure they are punished in accordance to the law," she added.

To another question by Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS-Rantau Panjang) on the measures to get rid of plastic waste in the country, Yeo said her ministry would ensure that all plastic material that could not be recycled would be banned.

She also said that her ministry was looking into reviewing Acts related to the environment.

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