Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin today reiterated that Malaysia would not be a dumping ground for the world’s plastic waste.
“Our position has always been that, we would not want illegal smuggling of plastic waste and contaminated plastic waste into the country,” she said in response to the world’s leading environmental protection group Greenpeace’s claim that Italy has been exporting hazardous plastic waste to Malaysia.
She said this at a press conference after launching the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change 2020 (Mestecc 2020) Initiative here today.
Yeo also said that the biggest exporter of the illegal plastic waste to Malaysia was not Italy but the United Kingdom, France, the United States, and Japan.
Greenpeace had alleged that in the first nine months of 2019, some 2,880 tonnes of the plastic waste exported to Malaysia and almost half were received by companies operating illegally.
Meanwhile, Yeo said her ministry would continue with its efforts to identify containers of illegally imported plastic waste to be returned to the countries of origin.
“Under the Basel Convention, we can inform the authorities from the other side (country of origin) that we will return the plastic waste to them.
“Normally, most of these countries will accept the container, and so far they never said that they don’t want them back,” she added.
Yeo was previously reported as saying that Malaysia would send back 110 containers of the illegally imported plastic waste to their countries of origin by June this year.
She said of the total, 60 were from the United States, 15 (Canada), 14 (Japan), nine from the United Kingdom, eight from Belgium, and one each from Mexico, Hungary, France, and Jamaica.
Meanwhile, she said five sectors were involved in the Mestecc 2020 Initiative, namely energy; science and technology (STI); environment and climate change; strategic planning and international; and management.
“Of the 130 initiatives, the energy sector outlined 32 initiatives, STI (31), environment and climate change (40), strategic planning and international (14), and management (13),” she said.
During the event, she also launched the Intelligent-Analysis, Evaluation and Reveal Time Solutions system or ‘I-Alerts’.
The system is aimed at increasing the efficiency of the implementation officers to manage, monitor and gauge the achievement of the Mestecc 2020 Initiative.