Waste crisis intensifies as Malaysia plans to Send Plastic Waste back to the Developed Countries
The Waste crisis is set to intensify for the developed countries as Malaysia is now planning to send back the non-recyclable plastic scrap.
Developed countries have been using Malaysia, as the dumping ground for their plastic waste. Year’s went on and now Malaysia has a waste problem of their own and now to counter that they will send back non-recyclable plastic scrap to the developed countries that sent it there in the first place.
This development of things is confirmed by the environment minister of the Malaysian Government on Tuesday.
The waste crisis began when China imposed a ban on waste imports, After the ban, Malaysia became the leading alternative destination for plastic scrap. This results in disrupting the flow of more than 7 million tonnes of plastic scrap a year.
The overwhelming import of dozens of recycling factories cropped up in Malaysia, many without an operating license and residents complaining of environmental damage that may cause health hazards for the Malaysian people. The majority of plastic scrap imports is contaminated and contains low-quality plastic.
Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysia’s minister of energy, technology, science, climate change, and environment said that Now Malaysia has begun sending back the waste to its country of origin. In a statement given to Reuters Yeo told that “Developed countries must be responsible for what they send out”.
She further explains that some of the plastic scraps that were sent to Malaysia were in violation of the Basel Convention, a United Nations treaty regarding the trading of plastic waste and its disposal.
She even pressured on the fact that Malaysian government is committed to improving the waste management condition in the country, Malaysia has already sent five containers of contaminated plastic waste that was smuggled illegally into the country back to its source which is Spain. The identifying of the smugglers were yet to be announced since it is currently in the ongoing investigation. She also said that more non-recyclable plastic will be sent back to its source next week.
The rise in Malaysia’s plastic waste imports
from its 10 biggest source-countries can be seen by statistics the number jumped to 456,000 tonnes between January and July 2018, versus 316,600 tonnes of plastic waste import purchased in the entire year of 2017, and 168,500 tonnes in the entire 2016. Recent data is currently unavailable.
The countries who sent their plastic wastes to Malaysia are- The United States, Britain, Japan, and Australia and other but these four nations send the maximum waste to Malaysia for recycling.
Since the quality of the plastic waste sent from these countries is literally a waste. A large amount of Plastic unsuitable for recycling has to be burnt which releases toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. If they do not burn it, the pile of waste starts to contaminate soil and water sources.
Although there are several steps taken to stop the exploitation of developing countries by the developed countries. The recent China ban left the developed nations to export their waste to other countries due to lack of recycling facilities in their own nation. This leads to a series of nations banning waste imports from other nations and thus creating a Waste crisis for the Developed nations.