Malaysia will return plastic waste to the countries of origin

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The country last year became the world’s main destination for plastic waste after China banned its import. Nine shipping containers at Port Klang, west of Kuala Lumpur, on Tuesday were found to contain mislabeled plastic and non-recyclable waste, including a mixture of household and e-waste. the plastic was shipped from the US, the UK, Australia, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, the Netherlands and Singapore.

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On April 24, Malaysia launched a joint task force to crack down on the growing problem of illegal plastic waste imports. “We urge the developed countries to review their management of plastic waste and stop shipping garbage to developing countries,” Yeo Bee Yin, minister of energy, science, technology, environment and climate change, said. Last year the governments of 187 countries, including Malaysia, agreed to add plastic to the Basel Convention, a treaty that regulates the movement of hazardous materials from one country to another. One company in the U.K. , as an example, was responsible for more than 50,000 tons of plastic imported to Malaysia over just two years. 60 total containers will be sent back to their country of origin. Some of the items included cables from the United Kingdom, contaminated milk cartons from Australia and compact discs from Bangladesh, as well as bales of electronic and household waste from the U.S., Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia and China.

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