Pressure increases on recycling exports as Malaysia returns plastic waste

The Malaysian Government has announced that it will be sending back around 3,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste imported from developed countries.

The Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin announced that after 60 containers full of contaminated waste had been smuggled into illegal processing facilities in the country, they would be being sent back to the countries where they originated, with 10 to be sent back within two weeks, asserting that “Malaysia will not be a dumping ground”.

Among the waste uncovered at the port of Klang, outside the capital Kuala Lumpur, were plastic cables from the UK, contaminated milk cartons from Australia and electronic and household waste from the US, Canada, Japan, Saudia Arabia and China.