KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Developed countries must review their management of plastic waste and stop sending such material to developing countries, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin said on Tuesday.
In a press conference following the inspection of several shipping containers with plastic and other waste at Port Klang, the country's largest port, Yeo said the government would ship back the waste to the source countries which include the United States, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Japan.
She also expressed disappointment at some developed countries shipping their waste to developing countries such as Malaysia.
"We urge the developed countries to review their management of plastic waste and stop shipping the garbage out to the developing countries.
"Malaysia won't continue to be a dumping ground for the developed nations and those responsible for destroying our ecosystem with these illegal activities are traitors," she said.
Yeo said her ministry had identified 60 containers containing contaminated waste which had been smuggled into Malaysia and of these, 10 would be shipped back within two weeks.
The waste displayed included insulated cables from Britain which had been labeled as copper, contaminated milk cartons from Australia and compact discs from Bangladesh and electronic and household waste from the United States, Canada, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
Commenting on the scale of the problem, Yep said a single Britain-based recycling company exported more than 50,000 metric tons of plastic waste in about 1,000 containers to Malaysia over the past two years.
She explained that those smuggling waste into the country used numerous methods including falsely declaring the contents of containers and mixing unwanted waste with materials that could be recycled.
The government has clamped down on dozens of illegal plastic recycling facilities across the country, closing down over 150 plants since last July.
The latest move came after the government sent back five containers of waste to Spain in April.