KUCHING: Sarawak government will not allow the state to become rubbish bin for the developed countries to dump their plastic waste, although the industry is worth RM30 billion in the country.
Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian when contacted, told Borneo Post Online that Sarawak treasures its environment and developed countries must managed their own waste.
“We will not support (import of plastic waste for recycling) as our environment and nature is priceless! We must learn from the mistakes of the western countries. Manage your own waste,” he said.
Dr Sim was asked to comment on reports showing that Malaysia took in 754,000 tonnes of plastic waste from over 19 countries this year, with US, Japan and Britain billed as the highest exporters.
The information from the Department of National Solid Waste Management showed that US is the nation’s top plastic waste exporter, followed by Japan and Britain.
Greenpeace Malaysia revealed this data in its The Recycling Myth report uncovering regulation violations in the plastic waste disposal following news surrounding illegal plastic waste recycling factories mushrooming in some parts of Peninsular Malaysia.
A quick check with Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, concluded that a Kuching-based company is doing recycling of foreign waste, albeit in smaller quantity of 200 tonnes per month
“Sarawak (is) also importing. Only one company. Plant capacity is very small only 200 tonnes per month,” Zuraida replied via WhatsApp messenger.
When informed about the existence of the industry in Sarawak, Dr Sim said he would find out more about this issue.
“Will look into it as we should protect our environment,” he said.
Dr Sim said he would also bring this matter to the attention of his colleagues in the Sarawak cabinet.
“I will discuss with Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan as environment is under his Ministry,” Dr Sim added.