Selangor Environment Department director Shafee Yasir said today that there have been cases of unidentified individuals keeping watch on his officers during inspections of illegal plastic recycling factories.
"However, nothing untoward has happened to the DOE officers doing enforcement work,” he told Bernama.
Shafee was asked about allegations by residents of Teluk Gong, Klang that an influential individual was protecting illegal recycling factories in the area.
Selangor exco Ng Sze Han, meanwhile, said action will be taken when evidence is provided to back up the allegations.
"So far seven illegal plastic waste factories in Teluk Gong 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.
Teluk Gong residents told Bernama yesterday that illegal plastic and tyre recycling factories in the area are operating as usual despite being ordered to shut down by authorities.
This was echoed by Port Klang assemblyperson Azmizam Zaman Huri, who expressed his disappointment over the Klang Municipal Council's lack of action in dealing with illegal factories.
'Dirty plastic not allowed in'
Shafee also told Bernama that only the import of used plastics for recycling is allowed, and not for dumping.
"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 said.
Shafee said DOE was working closely with the Customs Department to stop the entry of dirty plastics into the country.
"If the Customs Department suspects false declaration on the containers laden with used plastics, it will contact the DOE for further action."