KUALA LUMPUR: More stringent checks will be carried out on containers at all the ports to ensure no prohibited plastic waste enters the country.
Customs director-general Datuk Paddy Abdul Halim said they were working with the National Solid Waste Management Department and the Department of Environment to combat the smuggling of plastic waste into Malaysia.
“We are carrying out tighter checks on containers entering the country, especially at Port Klang.
“The Customs has joined a special team formed by the government, which views seriously the dumping of banned plastic waste in the country, to combat the illegal activities,” he said.
The plastic waste issue came to light when the media reported on operations carried out by the authorities which uncovered hundreds of containers in Port Klang found with illegal waste brought into the country.
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the 60 containers of plastic waste brought into the country illegally on May 28 would be sent back to their countries of origin.
She said 10 out of the 60 containers weighing 450 metric tonnes were found to carry plastic waste from various countries like China, the United States, Australia, Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.
Malaysia is among the countries that import recyclable plastic waste and so far, 62 companies have been issued approved permits by the National Solid Waste Management Department to bring in and process plastic scraps in the country.
However, strict conditions are imposed on those importing and processing the plastic waste, among them importers should have storage premises and facilities to carry out processing and recycling of the imported plastic waste.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) confirmed having received a report on the alleged illegal operation of a plastic waste recycling plant in Jenjarom in Kuala Langat, near here.
MACC Investigation Division director Datuk Seri Simi Abd Gani said the report was received last year.
“An investigation found that the plant, which was reportedly operating illegally, did not have any elements of corruption,” he said, adding that such complaints of illegal operations should be submitted to the local authorities and relevant parties.
He said to date, the MACC had not received any new reports on the issue.