UK to take back 42 containers of plastic waste from Malaysia

Penang Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh and state Customs director Saidi Ismail inspect plastic waste found in a container at Penang Port in May.

PETALING JAYA: The United Kingdom has agreed to repatriate 42 containers comprising illegal shipment of plastic waste from Malaysia.

Authorities and shipping agents are working together in the repatriation process in accordance with the Basel Convention, a joint statement by the energy, science, technology, environment and climate change ministry and the British High Commission said today.

It said the containers, which had arrived at Penang Port between March last year and March this year, were deemed illegal as they failed to comply with the necessary import papers.

The announcement came following a recent visit by the UK’s Environment Agency, organised by the high commission in response to news of the illegal shipment of plastic waste from the UK.

The statement said the Environment Agency’s representatives held a series of meetings with the ministry, the Department of Environment, the Customs Department and relevant port authorities and agencies in Malaysia.

“These meetings have resulted in a greater mutual understanding of the regulatory framework and policies related to trade in plastic waste, as well as an exchange of knowledge in sharing intelligence, inspection procedures, identification and repatriation of plastic waste,” the statement added.