The Housing and Local Government Ministry has clarified that up to Sept 21, there are five companies in Kedah which were issued approved permits (APs) to import plastic waste.
In a statement today, its National Solid Waste Management Department said these APs were issued by the ministry.
The companies are Plasticycle Industries Kulim, GC Plastic Kulim, YB Enterprise Kulim, Technology PP Industries (Northern) Sungai Petani and Green Mark Technology Sungai Petani.
"The companies have their letter of compliance for their premises issued by the Department of Environment (DOE)," said the department.
However, the AP approval (in the ePermit system) for Technology PP Industries (Northern) has been suspended, the department said.
"It is being suspended pending the renewal of its business licence from the Sungai Petani Municipal Council."
The department was referring to two protests - in Sungai Petani and Alor Setar, Kedah - held by residents action groups against an imported waste company, which they claim were polluting their housing areas with their "day and night" operations.
They demanded that Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin clarify the situation of AP holders among imported waste companies, one of them being Green Alliance Ecotech.
However, Green Alliance Ecotech was not issued an AP by the ministry, said the department based in Putrajaya.
"If a company operates without a business licence, the local authority needs to enforce its laws by shutting down its premises," the department said.
There are currently six recycling companies in Kedah applying for permits to start operations.
The department said Kedah is considering the six applications but approval is pending endorsement and review by technical agencies such as DOE and Workers Health and Safety Department.
"If they are approved by the Kedah government, the companies will only be allowed to operate in a designated industrial zone area," it added.