Malaysia Plans to Return Imported Plastic Waste to First-World Nations
Observing the threats due to the increased accumulation of wastes dumped by the developed nations in Malaysia, Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin on Tuesday announced certain measures to keep the country clean.
Yeo said that the country would be sending around 3,300 tons of non-recyclable plastic waste back to the first world nations. The announcement came in the wake of China’s plastic waste ban, which indicates the huge recycling problem in the present world. Moreover, Philippines last week’s comments, of sending the illegally imported containers of garbage back to Canada firmed Yeo’s decision.
Criticising the developed nations for the continuous dumping of plastic waste, Yeo said, “Malaysia will not be a dumping ground to the world … we will fight back. Even though we are a small country, we can’t be bullied by developed countries.”
The environment minister added that 10 containers full of garbage were prepared and placed at a port outside Kuala Lumpur, to ship back to their respective nations. The waste contents included cables from the UK, contaminated milk cartons from Australia, compact discs from Bangladesh, as well as bales of electronic and household waste from the US, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia and China.
In addition, the Malaysian government has also been suppressing the illegal production, import, and usage of non-recyclable plastic products to mitigate the threats.
As the history recalls the accumulated plastic wastes have always had a negative impact on the environment, affecting terrestrial and aquatic life; it even alters the natural quality and brings interruptions in food chain operations. Furthermore, the waste accumulation degrades the soil and water quality, bringing in different types of pollution and health hazards in the nations.
The dire consequences of accumulated plastic wastes and its management has always been a subject of wide debate throughout the world. The wealthier nations have largely failed in their duties of providing a hazard free-environment, despite the tightly regulated waste management policies. Thus, there is a need that all the countries actively participate in waste management activities, including generation, collection, and proper disposal of plastic waste.
The remediation of waste sites is one important aspect that the countries should keep in mind to reduce health risks. Following these measures, the countries could promote a risk-free environment, without having the need to dump garbage in other developing nations. Yeo, being aware of the existing risks of illegal dumping, has continuously appealed to the rich nations to use appropriate methods for managing wastes.
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