Govt looking at grading system for plastic waste industry

BUKIT MERTAJAM: The government will look into developing a grading system for facilities processing plastic waste to better regulate the industry, says Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

She said factories which import clean plastic and process them directly without cleaning them would be given a first-class grade.

“Under the new ruling, the factories can only import plastic waste from advanced countries such as those in Europe, from the United States, Japan and Australia.

“The grading will also look into whether the factories and facilities are capable of matching their capacity,” she told on Saturday.

Zuraida said the grading is meant to encourage the factories to bring in clean plastic as dirty plastic can cause environmental pollution.

She said that out of 58 companies whose approved permits were frozen last July, only eight complied with the regulations and were allowed to resume operations.

Zuraida, who earlier visited two factories in Kedah and three factories in Penang, said the ministry was looking into the industry holistically to ensure they comply with the guidelines.

“There will be more info by the factories such as where their products would be exported to and a fee to be imposed for imported plastic waste. The data will be collected for future development of the industry. Under the new regulation, we put a fee of RM50 per tonne,” she said.

In July last year, the ministry revoked the permit on plastic waste imports, affecting 114 legal plastic waste factories all over Malaysia for three months up to Oct 23.

The move was made after reports of serious pollution in Kuala Langat, Selangor, which was allegedly caused by factories processing plastic waste.

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