KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia is sending back an additional 110 containers of plastic waste to source countries after having successfully returned 150, the government said on Monday.
The Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change said in a statement that 150 containers with estimated 3,737 metric tonnes of plastic waste had been returned to the source countries, mostly developed countries such as the United States, Britain, Japan, Canada, Spain and France.
Speaking at a press conference at Butterworth Port in Penang state, where some of the containers arrived at, Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Yeo Bee Yin said the additional 110 containers to be sent back include 60 from the United States, 15 from Canada and 14 from Japan, while others came from Britain, Belgium, Mexico, Hungary, France and Jamaica.
"As a party to the Basel Convention, Malaysia also imposes strict requirements in line with the Article 4 (11) of the Convention for all importation of mixed plastic waste to ensure that any transboundary movement of waste is conducted in a manner to protect human health and the environment," she said.
The Basel Convention is the most comprehensive international environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes.
Yeo said the containers had been sent back without the government incurring any costs, which had been borne by the companies responsible for importing the plastic waste illegally to Malaysia.
"It is not about money but dignity. We are not supposed to pay them to send it back. We do not want to pay a single cent. We are not the world's rubbish dump," she said.