In 2018, over 800,000 tonnes of trash from predominantly developed countries such as the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand was shipped into Malaysia to be recycled in illegal plants - who's owners simply burn or dump into landfills the trash that cannot be recycled.
The surge in trash shipments is a direct result of China's ban on importing plastic waste in early 2018 - forcing Chinese recyclers to redirect huge quantities of trash to countries in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia.
China, which was importing almost half of the world's plastic waste since the 1980s, imposed the ban to avoid the pollution produced by the industry.
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