Malaysia returns 42 containers of ‘illegal’ plastic waste to UK

plastic waste

Malaysia’s environment minister Yeo Bee Yin said Malaysia is taking steps to ensure that the country does not become ‘the garbage dump of the world’. They have returned 150 shipping containers including 42 shipping containers of illegally imported plastic waste to the United Kingdom since last year.

The government of United Kingdom said they received a request from Malaysia authorities to repatriate the waste. Around 3,737 metric tons of waste has been transported to 13 wealthy countries including 43 containers to France, 11 containers to Canada, 17 containers to the United States. The highest number was transported to France.

The authorities hope to transport another 110 containers by the middle of 2020 with 60 of the containers going to United States, 9 containers to the United Kingdom which are still being held at Malaysian ports along with 15 containers from Canada, 14 from Japan and 8 from Belgium. Many rich countries send their recyclable waste overseas as it is cheap and it helps meet recycling targets and decreases domestic landfill. The United States is the top exporter for a single country whereas the European Union is the largest exporter of plastic waste.