Waste material has found its way to Malaysia as illegal recycling factories are started to mushroom in the city. It is reported that a huge number of such storage containers are lying around on various ports of Malaysia, which had been ordered to be returned to the country of origin, by the Yeo Bee Yin, Environment and Climate Change Minister, in April this year.

Strangely, in many cases, the forwarding country is untraceable. In many cases, the factory owners who are essentially foreigners are missing and there is no one to take charge of the waste, which is most recyclable.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry deputy secretary-general Dr K. Nagulendran has also mentioned that “there were over 200 containers of plastic waste imports waiting to be sent back to their countries of origin, and nearly all of these containers do not have approved permits (APs).”

On September 28, Yeo spoke to the media and expressed a clear mandate that the Federal Government would not be spending any money to send illegal waste-filled containers back to the countries of origin.

“It’s not just about the cost; it’s about dignity. Why do they send things to us and we still need to pay them to send it back?” she asserted.

In July this year, Indonesia faced a similar situation where it had to take a bold stand and sent back Australia’s trash back to the islands. It sends more than 210 tonnes of garbage back to Australia, as Southeast Asian nations push back against serving as dumping grounds for foreign trash. The eight containers seized in Surabaya city contained everything else except paper, making it a shameful act of stink to be managed by yet another Southeast Asian nation.

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