The UK has agreed to repatriate 42 containers of plastic waste illegally shipped to the Penang Port over a year since March 2018, in accordance with the Basel Convention.
The decision comes after UK's Environment Agency visited the site in response to news of the illegal shipment of plastic waste from the UK, according to a joint statement by the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (Mestecc) and the British High Commission.
"The UK Environment Agency held a series of meetings with Mestecc, Royal Malaysian Customs Department, relevant port authorities and agencies in Malaysia.
"These meetings have resulted in a greater mutual understanding of the regulatory framework and policies related to trade in plastic waste, as well as an exchange of knowledge in sharing intelligence, inspection procedures, identification and repatriation of plastic waste," it said.
Mestecc Minister Yeo Bee Yin (above) praised the UK for its willingness to take back the illegal plastic waste.
“The British High Commission’s proactive action of working closely with Mestecc in repatriating 42 plastic import containers in Penang Port is highly commendable.
"This co-operation signifies a recognition that plastic pollution is a global issue which requires commitment from various countries to address the problem.
“We hope the co-operation and understanding between Malaysia and the UK will set an example for other countries with companies exporting contaminated plastic waste to other developing nations,” she said in the statement.
Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay said the UK looks forward to working with Malaysia on the broader agenda of environment conservation and climate change, particularly with the UK set to chair the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change next year.
“The UK government shares the same concerns as the Malaysian government on the issue of plastic waste.
"The repatriation of these 42 containers reflects our commitment to fighting the illegal plastic waste trade," he said.