SHAH ALAM: Malaysia allows the import of used plastics for recycling only and not for dumping in the country, said Selangor Department of Environment (DoE) director Shafee Yasir.
“Dirty and contaminated plastic cannot be imported into the country because it is not allowed, but some importers mix the two types of plastic.
“This matter is the cause of our problems now because dirty and contaminated plastic needs to be cleaned first before being recycled.
“The dirt from these plastic will then pollute our drains and rivers. That’s why they are not allowed to be brought in,” he told Bernama here today.
He said this when asked to comment on international media reports that piles of imported plastic waste were found dumped in Ipoh recently.
Shafee said the department was working closely with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department to stop the entry of dirty and contaminated plastics.
“If the Customs Department suspects false declaration for containers laden with used plastic, it will contact the DoE for further action,” he said.
Asked on allegations by residents of Teluk Gong in Klang, near here, that an influential individual was protecting illegal plastic recycling factories there, Shafee said there had been cases of unidentified individuals keeping watch on his officers inspecting and monitoring such unlicensed premises.
“However, nothing untoward has happened to these DoE officers doing enforcement work,” he said.
However, state Local Government, Public Transport and New Villages Permanent Committee chairman Ng Sze Han denied the allegations of illegal plastic recycling factories enjoying protection.
“So far, seven illegal plastic waste factories in Teluk Gong, Klang, have been detected and subjected to action. This enforcement action will continue.
“If the allegations on the involvement of the influential party are backed by evidence, the government will not hesitate to take action,” he said.