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article imageMalaysia sends tons of plastic waste back to 13 countries

By Karen Graham     Jan 20, 2020 in Environment
Malaysia has sent back 150 shipping containers (3,737 metric tons) of plastic waste to rich countries including the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Canada, insisting it won't be the "garbage dump" of the world.
Malaysia's Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin said on Monday those countries wanting to make his country a rubbish bin of the world can “dream on," reports the Associated Press.
Besides the 150 containers sent back since the third quarter of last year, another 110 containers will be sent back to the countries of origin by the middle of this year, said the Environmental Minister.
The country has been inundated with plastic waste from far richer countries since China's ban on receiving plastic waste went into effect in 2018. However, Malaysia has been cracking down on illegal waste trafficking by strictly enforcing new environmental laws at key Malaysian ports and has closed down over 200 illegal plastic recycling factories.
A breakdown of the plastic waste and which countries are getting the full containers back reads like a "who's who" in the world of commerce: Of the 150 containers, 43 were returned to France, 42 to the United Kingdom, 17 to the United States, 11 to Canada, 10 to Spain and the rest to Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Portugal, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Lithuania, according to CBC Canada.
Yeo said the cost of returning the containers of plastic waste was fully borne by the shipping liners and companies responsible for importing and exporting the waste, per CNN News.
Of the 110 containers still being held in Malaysian ports, The U.S. will be getting back 60 containers this year. Canada also has 15 more containers, Japan 14, the U.K. 9 and Belgium 8 containers, said Yeo. "Our position is very firm. We just want to send back [the waste], and we just want to give a message that Malaysia is not the dumping site of the world," she added.
More about Malaysia, plastic trash, 13 countries, 3700 metric tons, illegal waste trafficking
 
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