Tighter checks for plastic waste at all ports

A container filled with banned plastic waste seized at Port Klang.

PETALING JAYA: Tighter checks will be carried out on containers across all ports to ensure that no banned plastic waste enters the country.

Customs director-general Paddy Abdul Halim said they were working with the National Solid Waste Management Department (NSWMD) and the Department of Environment (DOE) to combat the smuggling of plastic waste into Malaysia.

“We are doing more stringent checks on containers coming into the country, especially in Port Klang.

“The Customs have also joined a special team formed by the government to combat the illegal activities,” he told Bernama.

The smuggling of plastic waste came to light when hundreds of containers in Port Klang were found to contain the waste during operations carried out by the authorities.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said on May 28 that 60 containers of plastic waste, weighing some 3,000 tonnes, discovered at the port would be sent back to their countries of origin.

The first phase of the operation has begun by getting rid of 10 containers, filled with 450 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste.

They originated from the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, China, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh.

So far, 62 companies have been issued permits by the National Solid Waste Management Department to bring in plastic waste for processing.

However, strict conditions are imposed on those importing this plastic waste, including having storage places and facilities for processing and recycling.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has confirmed receiving a report on the alleged illegal operation of a plastic waste recycling plant at Jenjarom in Kuala Langat, near here.

MACC investigation division director Simi Abd Ghani said the report was received last year.

He said an investigation found that the operation of the plant had not been linked to corruption.

Complaints that plants were operating illegally should be directed to the local authorities, he added.