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Only clean, used plastics can be imported - DoE

SHAH ALAM (May 30): Malaysia allows the import of used plastics for recycling only and not for dumping in the country, said Selangor Department of Environment (DoE) director Shafee Yasir.

"Dirty and contaminated plastics cannot be imported into the country because it is not allowed, but some importers mixed the two types of plastics.

"This matter is the cause of our problems now because dirty and contaminated plastics need to be cleaned first before being recycled, and the dirt from these plastics will then pollute our drains and rivers; that’s why they are not allowed to be brought in,” he told Bernama here yesterday.

He said this when asked to comment on international media reports that piles of imported plastic waste were found dumped in Ipoh, Perak recently.

Shafee said the department was working closely with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department to stop the entry of dirty and contaminated plastics.

"If the customs department suspects false declaration on the containers laden with used plastics, it will contact the DoE for further action,” he said.

Asked on allegations by residents of Teluk Gong in Klang, near here, that an influential individual was protecting illegal plastic recycling factories there, Shafee said there had been cases of unidentified individuals keeping watch on his officers inspecting and monitoring such unlicensed premises.

"However, nothing untoward has happened to the DoE officers doing enforcement work,” he said.

However, Local Government, Public Transport and New Villages Permanent Committee chairman Ng Sze Han denied the allegations on illegal plastic recycling factories enjoying protection.

"So far seven illegal plastic waste factories in Teluk Gong, Klang have been detected and subjected to action, and this (enforcement) action will continue.

"If the allegations on the involvement of the influential party are backed by evidence, the government will not hesitate to take action,” he said.

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