Malaysia to Ship Plastic Trash Back to the U.S., Other Origin Countries

The country will send roughly 3,300 tons of plastic waste to countries like the U.S., its environment minister announced.

By Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder, Staff Writer?May 28, 2019
By Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder, Staff Writer?May 28, 2019, at 11:39 a.m.

安博电竞官网 Malaysia to Return Plastic Trash

LHOKSEUMAWE, ACEH, INDONESIA - 2019/04/21: (Photo taken by a drone)
A scavenger seen looking for plastic bottle trash at a garbage dump in Lhokseumawe, Aceh province, Indonesia.
Based on a study by McKinsey and Co. and Ocean Conservancy, Indonesia is the number two plastic waste producing country in the world after China. The large amount of waste production, especially plastics sent to the Indonesian seas, directly contributes to making coastal areas and small islands dirty and full of garbage. Moreover, from the results of the study, it was found that the waste in the coastal area was dominated by plastic with a percentage of 36 to 38 percent. (Photo by Zikri Maulana/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A man scavenges in a garbage dump in Lhokseumawe, Indonesia, in April. Malaysia will be sending 60 containers of waste back to their countries of origin, the country's environmental minister announced Tuesday.Zikri Maulana/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Malaysia plans to send back roughly 3,300 tons of plastic trash to countries like the U.S. and Canada, its environmental minister announced Tuesday.

After China banned the import of plastic waste last year, Malaysia and other developing countries became the destination for much of the world's trash.

Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the country will be sending 60 containers of waste back to their countries of origin. They were discovered while they were being smuggled to illegal processing facilities.

"These containers were illegally brought into the country under false declaration and other offences which clearly violates our environmental law," Yeo said.

Yeo added that many citizens in developed countries were mostly unaware that their trash – which they think is being recycled – is actually being dumped in Malaysia.

"We are urging developed nations to review their management of plastic waste and stop shipping garbage to developing countries," she said. "If you ship to Malaysia, we will return it back without mercy."

At least 14 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Japan, France, Australia, Saudi Arabia and China, will get trash shipped back to them, according to Malaysian officials.

The move makes Malaysia the latest Asian country to start rejecting other nations' trash.

Last week the president of the Philippines said he would send back 69 containers of garbage to Canada to be left in international waters if the country doesn't accept them.

As the world grapples with what to do with its trash, many nations have promised to try to address the problem.

Earlier this month more than 180 countries pledged to meet control measures to curb plastic pollution under the Basel Convention. The U.S. was not one of them.

Items that can't be recycled are usually burnt or put into landfills, contaminating air, dirt and water sources.

The Photos You Should See – May 2019

TOPSHOT - Indian Muslims offer last congregational Friday prayers of the holy month of Ramadan on a road in Agartala on May 31, 2019. - Muslims around the world took part in the Friday prayers ahead of the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, which depends on the sighting of the moon. (Photo by STR / AFP)        (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)



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