PETALING JAYA: The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) lauds the move by the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (Mestecc) to hold those bringing contaminated plastic waste into the country accountable for their actions.
Minister Yeo Bee Yin (pic) said on Tuesday (May 28) that those bringing in the waste will be responsible for footing the bill for the shipping of waste back to the originating country.
She said under the Environmental Quality Act, those responsible for bringing in the waste will have two weeks to ship it back – and will be brought to court should they fail to do so.
FMM president Datuk Soh Tian Lai was "fully supportive" of the "decisive step" taken by the Ministry.
"FMM also commends Mestecc's delegation on the successful representation and support for the amendment to the classification of plastic wastes under the Basel Convention.
"This would help Malaysia restrict the import of such waste from other countries more effectively," he said in a statement on Wednesday (May 29).
He hoped that the Ministry and relevant agencies would work together with industry players in addressing the issue in a holistic manner.
Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) and Malaysia Plastic Recyclers Association (MPRA) also supported the Government's efforts to stop contaminated plastic waste from being brought into the country.
"We reiterate our stand that Malaysia has no place for other countries' rubbish, and that we should not become the developed world's dumping ground.
"We continue to support and are ready to assist the Government in their efforts to crack down on these unscrupulous and illegal operators and to protect the environment," the associations said in a statement.
MPMA and MPRA however cautioned against mistaking contaminated plastic waste with recyclable plastic waste – after non-governmental organisations called for a ban on all plastic waste imports.
The Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) has called for a total ban on plastic waste imports.
"Blanket bans do not and cannot address the issue of smuggling and do hurt legitimate businesses.
"In referring to 'plastics waste', NGOs are lumping permitted imports together with smuggled ones.
"This hurts the reputation of legitimate Malaysian businesses, instead of addressing the issue of smuggling.
"We are concerned that law-abiding businesses are being accused of breaking the law, and that inaccurate statements could destroy the livelihoods of law-abiding Malaysians and the families and loved ones that they support," said the associations.