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Malaysia refuses to be the western world’s dumping ground

This article originally featured in The Skylark’s newsletter and was written as a condensed news in brief.

Malaysia’s environment minister, Yeo Bee Yin has announced that the country refuses to be the world’s rubbish tip as the country sends back over 150 containers of unwanted rubbish to their origins in western states. Of the 150 containers, 43 were returned to France, 42 to the United Kingdom, 17 to the United States, 11 to Canada, 10 to Spain and the rest to Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Portugal, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Lithuania, her ministry said. Smuggling of waste has become a serious problem for Malaysia since China banned the import of plastic waste in 2018. Over 200 illegal plastic recycling factories have been closed by authorities and another 110 containers of rubbish are expected to be returned by the middle of 2020. The action is a positive one for Malaysia and recycling as a whole, as it forces countries to invest in their own waste systems and prevents natural habitats in faraway countries being damaged and destroyed.

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