Malaysian authorities have spoken out and warned rich nations they would ship their non-recyclable waste back to them as they refuse to serve as the dumping grounds for wealthier countries.
The announcement follows a year after China banned plastic waste imports, making Malaysia the world’s number one destination for getting rid of non-recyclable materials.
Following China’s ban on importing plastic waste, over 7 million tons of trash generated yearly by nations such as the U.S., UK, and Japan had to be redirected to other countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
The surge of waste import in Malaysia prompted the establishment of dozens of waste processing factories which are not only operating without a license but causing major environmental issues for the local communities.
Now, the Malaysian Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change, Ms. Yeo Bee Yin, said the country would be shipping 60 illegally imported containers full of waste back to their respective nations, as Malaysia refuses to serve as the dumping grounds for richer countries.
“These containers were illegally brought into the country under false declaration and other offenses which clearly violates our environmental law,” the minister announced after the shipments were inspected at Port Klang.
The straightforward declaration follows shortly after Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, threatened Canada with war if they refused to take back 69 containers of waste they shipped into the country illegally.
As the Philippine president added, he would forcefully take the containers back to Canada and leave them in their territorial waters.
In response to the accusations, Canada admitted the garbage was transported back in 2014 as a part of a commercial deal without government consent.
Following Duterte’s bold threats, Canada agreed to arrange for the 69 containers of waste to be shipped back to them. Amid arrangements, however, Duterte lost all patience and ordered the garbage out.
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