Malaysian Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Been (R) Yin at Port Klang on May 28, 2019. (Photo: Bernama)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia will send 3,000 tonnes of plastic waste back to the countries it originated from, said Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin.

Fielding questions from reporters after inspecting the shipments at Port Klang on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on May 28, Yeo noted that the country will send back 60 containers of trash that had been imported illegally. Ten of them are expected to be shipped within the next two weeks, with costs covered by the importers involved.

Malaysian officials have identified at least 14 original countries of the unwanted waste, including the US, Japan, France, Canada, Australia, and the UK. Malaysia had already returned five containers of contaminated plastic waste back to Spain.

A British-based recycling company had exported 50,000 tonnes of plastic waste to Malaysia in the past two years, said Yeo without identifying the firm. She added that Malaysia would ask foreign governments responsible to investigate such companies.

The minister said the blame should be shared between the exporters and their partners in Malaysia. She did not disclose how many local companies were involved as it was still under investigation. However, she said all violators would be brought to justice.

Malaysia and many other developing countries became top destinations for global plastic waste dumping after China banned its imports last year.

This month, about 180 countries agreed to amend the Basel Convention 1989 to make global trade in plastic waste more transparent and better regulated.–VNA