Malaysia has returned 150 containers of plastic waste, including 42 to the UK, since late last year, its environment minister revealed on Monday, warning that the South East Asian nation would not become the “world’s dumpster”.
A total of 3,737 metric tonnes of unwanted waste has been sent to 13 predominantly rich countries including the United States, Canada, Spain and Portugal. The highest number, 43, were transported to France.
Shipments of rubbish have been redirected to South East Asia since China banned the import of plastic waste in 2018, but Malaysia has joined a growing number of countries, including the Philippines and Indonesia, who are increasingly rejecting the undesired imports.
“If people want to see us as the rubbish dump of the world, you dream on,” Yeo Bee Yin, the environment minister, told reporters during inspection at a Penang port on Monday.
“Enforcement action was taken on containers which contained plastic waste imported illegally,” she said, citing the Basel Convention, an international treaty designed to restrict movements of hazardous wastes between nations.
Read more: The Telegraph