It has been reported that most of the illegal factories are owned and operated by the foreigners because they moved their business to Malaysia as a result of the ban. Their factories are hidden in many parts of the country
MEDIA release by ASEAN Chamber of Commerce on “ASEAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PROPOSES EFFECTIVE ILLEGAL DUMPING PREVENTION ENFORCEMENT AS BANS ON SOLID PLASTIC WASTE TRIGGER GLOBAL TRASH CRISIS“, which was issued today (24 April 2019).
Safe and proper disposal of plastic waste remains a challenge for many developed countries. In many cases, these countries would rather ship the waste to developing nations instead of dealing with the cost and difficulties of proper waste disposal. Despite the various efforts made to curb the dumping of waste in countries unfortunately unequipped to handle them, the illegal practice continues. Due to the recent ban on plastic imports by China at the beginning of this year, it looks like Malaysia has become their new dumping ground.
Dato’ Moehamad Izat Emir, President of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce, believes in taking Malaysia’s commitment to fight against plastic pollution further, Malaysia must sincerely enforce the total ban on dumping of solid plastic waste/scrap in the country. As illegal dumping is now a major problem in Malaysia, it raises significant concerns regarding public health & safety, property values and quality of life. An effective illegal dumping prevention program founded on leadership and support by local officials; cooperation among authorities, communities and industry; and an integrated approach must be enforced to address the factors contributing to the problem.
It has been reported that most of the illegal factories are owned and operated by the foreigners because they moved their business to Malaysia as a result of the ban. Their factories are hidden in many parts of the country including the palm oil plantations in the area where the rent is cheap and they have access to the waterways running through the plantation. Some local residents claimed that the factory owners have paid off the local authorities so that their illegal activities will not be disturbed and there is no enforcement in the area.
Izat said, “We may have changed our government but we are working within an old system. I’m not surprised there may be allegations of corruption. It’s just that we have to enforce the policy.“
ASEAN countries have previously allowed local regional governments in special economic zones (SEZs) to make a buck from foreign waste. However, overwhelmed with its own unrecycled garbage, Malaysia has to switch gears, focusing its effort on closing the gap between domestic waste and its recycling capacity.
Developed countries have very limited domestic capability to process and recycle waste, having become used to shipping it overseas for decades. After China banned 24 types of solid waste last year and placed tougher restrictions on waste imports, they tried to diversify its recycling outlets by sending the scraps to India and Vietnam.
With Chinese and then Indian markets off the table, recycling centers across those developed countries will have even more difficulty dealing with their waste. India’s ban on waste imports comes at a time of increased trade friction with the US.