Still business as usual at plastic waste factories, says NGO

An NGO says many factories processing plastic waste are still running in Klang despite instructions from the state authorities to cease all operations. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: An environmental NGO claims that many factories processing plastic waste are still running in Klang despite instructions from the state authorities to cease all operations.

Persatuan Tindakan Alam Sekitar Klang chairman Chiam Yan Tuan told FMT the group had received complaints from people who said it was still business as usual at these factories, with some activities conducted at night.

“Although they were raided before by the Klang Municipal Council (MPK), these factories continue to operate,” Chiam said.

“We went there ourselves to check on them, and they are still operating.”

In some cases, he added, the foreign workers who worked at these factories had alerted the NGO of their operations.

“In total there are about 40 factories, both illegal and legal,” he said.

Chiam said the group lodged a report with MPK last October but has yet to receive any feedback from the authorities.

He claimed some of these factories were located at Teluk Gong, West Port and Pulau Indah.

“There are also new findings of such plants in residential areas like Taman Sentosa Klang, along Jalan Sungai Jati,” he said.

Chiam said the NGO wrote two official complaints on Oct 3 and 29 last year, which were submitted along with photos and descriptions of the plastic waste factories to the MPK.

Copies were also sent to the Selangor menteri besar, the Department of Environment (DoE) and the housing and local government ministry.

“I only received one call from them, saying they would look into the matter and would take action.

“But until now, we don’t know what kind of action is being taken. These factories are still operating like usual.”

The government recently vowed to continue its crackdown on illegal plastic processing factories as part of its aim to close down at least 100 units in the first quarter of the year.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said action had already been taken against 64 illegal factories in Selangor, with 39 cases taken to court.

She also said the DoE had set up a task force at the head office and state level to plan and implement integrated operations in the various states.

Chiam said he did not know if there were any officers stationed to keep tabs on the factories that had been instructed to close down.

He urged the authorities to take immediate action against these plants, claiming that some of them would conduct open burning every night if it did not rain.