Basel Convention amendment helps Malaysia restrict plastic waste imports better, says Yeo

  • Nation
  • Friday, 17 May 2019

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The recent amendment to the classification of plastic wastes under the Basel Convention, an international treaty, will help Malaysia restrict the import of such waste from other countries more effectively, says Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin (pic).

This is because the amendment to the proposed plastic waste classification by the Convention, which was ratified by 187 countries, requires a "prior informed consent (PIC)" from the country importing the plastic waste before any cross-border waste movement is conducted.

Previously, she said the plastic waste classified under Annex IX of the Basel Convention did not clearly state whether the waste could be recycled or not.

It also did not require PIC approval from the country importing the waste.

"With the amendment, plastic wastes are more clearly classified and plastic waste-exporting countries need to have special consideration or PIC from the importing countries before any cross-border movements of the plastic wastes are carried out," she said at a media conference at the ministry here Friday (May 17).

Yeo said the 14th Basel Convention Conference held from April 29 to May 10 in Geneva, Switzerland, was attended by three ministry representatives and an official from the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

She said Malaysia also fully supported Norway's proposal for plastic wastes to be listed under Annex II of the treaty - the category of wastes requiring special consideration.

Commenting on the import of illegal plastic waste into the country, Yeo said five containers filled with the waste had been falsely declared so that it could be brought and dumped in Malaysia.

However, the containers were blocked by the Environment Department (DOE) and sent back to the country of origin, Spain.

She said Malaysia has become the main destination for contaminated plastic waste imports from foreign countries since China banned the import of plastic wastes last year.

To date, the DOE has taken action against 148 illegal plastic recycling plants, she added. - Bernama

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