Malaysia closes illegal plastic recycling facilities
According to Malaysian government and media reports, as of late February, nearly 140 illegal plastic recycling plants operating in the nation had been closed since the beginning of this year for violating the country’s Environmental Quality Act 1974. Department of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin says the Malaysian government has opened 48 investigation papers and four factories have been punished, while 44 more were charged with summonses exceeding $740,000.
Estimating that Malaysia imported some 750,000 metric tons of plastic scrap in 2018, Yin says, “We have 400 legal plastic waste recycling factories in the country, but it does not mean they [all] are adhering to the law, so monitoring has to be conducted at least twice a year to ensure their continuous compliance.”
Following what the ministry calls an “active integrated operation” in Selangor state beginning in July 2018, many of the operators moved to other states.