While we might think that recycling centres are the white knight to Malaysia’s excessive garbage and plastic bag use issue, some of them that are operating illegally are actually causing more harm to the environment.
According to The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Yeo Bee Yin, in Kuala Langat alone there were as many as 14 recycling centres that were operating illegally.
These illegal recycling centres are a danger to the environment as some resorted to open burning and dumping waste in empty plots of land.
When the government had blocked the import of plastic waste last month, many illegal factories that had imported them from January and June this year now have existing stock that cannot be processed.
But closing them down is not going to stop the problem once and for all.
“Many illegal factories are adopting a wait-and-see attitude. Once they see that the government has stopped taking action, they may start their operations again,” she added.
To combat this, Yeo says the government is studying the various measures to solve the problem. Action will only be taken against those that are unlicensed or polluting the environment.
She also urged residents to report any unlicensed plastic factories polluting the environment to their local council or state assemblyman.
After China placed a ban on waste imports, Britain’s plastic waste export to Malaysia reportedly tripled during the first four months of 2018
Over the past two years, there were as many as 38 plastic waste recycling factories popping up in Kuala Langat posing a health hazard to residents as many of them were dumping waste into rivers.