Image: RNZ / Nita Blake-Persen
A few months ago, the nation got a rude shock when it was revealed that Malaysia has been harbouring illegal recycling factories.
It appears that New Zealand, Australia, UK, and the US are among the countries that have been exporting large amount of plastic waste to Malaysia. The plastic waste is reportedly sent to illegal factories located in Selangor, Penang, and Johor. You can read all about it here
According to the National Solid Waste Management Department, US is the highest plastic exporter to the country.
The amount of plastic imported is also pretty alarming: 754,000 tonnes
of plastic waste was imported from January to July 2018 alone.
Recently, Greenpeace Malaysia has launched its report titled “The Recycling Myth”, revealing details on regulation violations when it comes to plastic waste disposal.
The report cited
that “Malaysia has become the world’s rubbish bin” after it was discovered that 19 countries from all over the world have been exporting their plastic waste to illegal recycling factories in Malaysia.
And out of the 754,000 tonnes plastic waste, only nine percent were clean recyclable plastic while the remaining 12 per cent
are incinerated and 77 per cent
ended up in the landfill or disposed in a natural environment.
Yikes, what a worrying situation for the country. Not to mention, the residents living nearby these illegal recycling factories are at serious health risks.
Hope the government will come up with a solution to tackle this alarming problem.