Malaysia plans to ship back over 3,000 tonnes to Canada. In a bold move, the country’s home minister announced that it will reject the trash from rich countries in the near future.
Malaysia is not the first country to make such a move. Recently, China banned the import of plastic waste to its shore. This disrupted the outflow of over 7 million tons of trash a year.
The plastic waste is becoming a headache for many developing countries. In Malaysia, the lack of proper disposal methods and mass dumping has wreaked havoc on the environment and local populace.
According to Yeo Bee Yin, the energy and environment minister, 60 containers of trash came into Malaysia illegally last year. His response is in line with Philippine’s president’s actions last week.
Rodrigo Duterte, the president of Philippines ordered his government to hire a private shipping company to send back 69 containers of trash to Canada. Additionally, the minister also ordered the private company to leave the garbage astray in Canadian waters, if the government fails to take responsibility for its waste.
Furthermore, the Canadian government released a press statement regarding the trash last week. The statement states that it shipped the trash to Philippines back in 2013-2014. Additionally, the government had not approved the commercial transaction.
Moreover, the Malaysian government also identified several other countries as the origin points of the trash. Britain, France, Australia, and United States are some others.
Plastic Waste and Recycling to Become More Transparent
Britain’s recycling company exported nearly 50,000 plastic waste to Malaysia in the last two years. Yeo urged the developing countries to take a good look at their waste management practices and conduct a thorough inquiry of such companies.
Her last words were filled with defiance, “if you ship to Malaysia, we will return it back without mercy”. She acted with the same defiance towards Spain earlier this year, when Malaysia shipped back 5 waste containers.
Last month, over 180 countries agreed to change the Basel convention. The convention currently regulates plastic waste management, which is in dire need of more transparency and regulation.
Basel convention, a 30-year old pact has not been ratified by the United States, the largest exporter of plastic waste.