Waste from US containers clean, fulfils AP criteria

by LYDIA NATHAN / pic source: Ministry of Environment and Water

THE waste from the US was clean, homogenous and fulfilled the criteria as required by Approved Permit (AP) to importers.

Water and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said it was revealed the container contents consisted of HS3915 merchandise, which is polyethylene plastic waste.

“As the Competent Authority to the Basel Convention, the Department of Environment (DoE) has confirmed that the plastic waste is in compliance with B3011 Basel Convention criteria and did not need a Prior Inform Consent, or notification to the country of export,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Tuan Ibrahim added that the review conducted on the exporter’s premises was in compliance with the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (Act 127) and according to plastic recycling activities as Environmental Sound Manner. It was reported last week that the DoE had received information from Sahabat Alam Malaysia on March 12 that a container from Los Angeles (LA) was believed to contain plastic waste.

The ship left LA on Feb 14 and was expected to arrive in Port Klang on March 22.

“The government appreciates all efforts and any information in handling future challenges and enforcement of plastic waste in Malaysia. I also want to warn import agents and shipping companies against any illegal attempts to import any kind of waste into the country as provided under Section 43 of the Environmental Quality Act 1974. Those failing to comply will face serious consequences as set by Malaysia,” Tuan Ibrahim said.

According to the ministry, the containers will not be turned away as the results of the inspection found no illegal elements to it.

The inspection was conducted by the Royal Customs Malaysian Department, Royal Malaysia Police, National Solid Waste Management Department, Port Klang Authority Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corp and Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

About 180 countries had decided about two years ago to ban hard-to-recycle plastic waste to stop rich countries from dumping trash in developing nations, which was set under the Basel Convention.

The US produces more plastic waste per capita than any other country, and is the only major nation not to have ratified the Basel Convention and is not bound by its rules.

In 2018, Malaysia became the leading alternative destination for plastic scrap after China banned imports of such waste, and in 2020 had begun sending back shipments of waste to these countries.


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