Plastic waste trade should be stopped

ENVIRONMENT and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man in a media statement issued on March 30 said the Department of Environment (DOE) in cooperation with other agencies had inspected two containers of plastic waste from the United States that had arrived at Port Klang a few days ago.

The inspection found that the plastic waste was clean, homogeneous and in compliance with B3011 of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. B3011 plastic wastes are not subject to the Prior Informed Consent procedure under the Basel Convention, which requires the exporting state to notify the importing country on the transboundary movement of the waste.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) applauds the authorities involved for their diligence in inspecting the shipment and hope the same procedure will be carried out on all plastic waste imports. Malaysia has been flooded with plastic waste since China imposed its import ban beginning January 2018.

In fact, in January 2021 alone, 9,800 tonnes of HS3915 plastic waste were exported from the US to Malaysia. We hope the authorities checked each container that came through our ports not only from the US but other countries as well.

Our environment and communities were badly impacted by the operations of illegal recycling plants and dumping and burning of plastic waste. Even now, communities are wary of plastic waste imports and want the government to stop accepting them.

Rich countries like the US should have the capacity to manage their own waste. Shifting the responsibility of dealing with plastic waste to developing and under-resourced countries is simply wrong.



Sahabat Alam Malaysia

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