Malaysia sends 150 waste containers back to countries of origin

Malaysia returned 150 containers of illegal plastic waste to the countries of origin. The Malaysian authorities do not want the country to become a landfill for the developed countries. Malaysia wants to return another 110 soon, according to the American agency Associated Press.

Malaysia said it had returned 150 containers containing 3,737 tonnes of waste, 43 of which were sent to France, 42 to the United Kingdom, 17 to the United States, and 11 to Canada. It plans to return a further 110 soon, 60 of which will go to the United States, 15 to Canada, 14 to Japan, 9 to the United Kingdom, and 8 to Belgium, according to Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin.

According to the Minister, the waste exporting countries and shipping companies were responsible for the cost of the return. Her ministry “will continue to fight pollution,” she said to journalists in the city of Butterworth, with a large port where several of the containers have left.

China decided in 2018 to close the door to the large part of the plastic waste. Numerous Chinese recycling companies moved to Malaysia, which led to an influx of (often illegal) waste.

The recycling capacity in Malaysia is firmly below the incoming amount of waste. Some places are buried in garbage.

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