PUTRAJAYA: The recent amendment to the classification of plastic waste under the Basel Convention, an international treaty, will help Malaysia restrict the import of such wastes from other countries more effectively, says Yeo Bee Yin.
The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister said this was 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 waste before any cross-border waste movement was conducted.
Previously, she said 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 waste is more clearly classified and plastic waste-exporting countries need to have special consideration or PIC from importing countries before any cross-border movement of the plastic waste is carried out,” she said at a media conference yesterday.
The 14th Basel Convention Conference, held from April 29 to May 10 in Geneva, was attended by officials from the ministry and the Housing and Local Government Ministry.
Yeo said Malaysia also fully supported Norway’s proposal for plastic waste to be listed under Annex II of the treaty – the category of waste requiring special consideration.
On the illegal import of plastic waste into the country, she said Malaysia has become the main destination for contaminated plastic waste since China banned the import last year.
She said that recently five containers with the waste had been falsely declared so that they could be brought in and their contents dumped in Malaysia.
The containers were stopped by the Department of Environment (DoE) and sent back to the country of origin, Spain.
Yeo said to date, the DoE has taken action against 148 illegal plastic recycling plants. — Bernama