According to the Malaysian Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change, and Environment Yeo Bee Yin, 100 illegal plastic waste recycling plants will be shut within the first three months of this year.
After the Minister participated in enforcement operations against illegal plastic recycling plants, she said that the Department of Environment (DOE) had set up state-level task forces that would implement integrated operations in their states.
She added: “To date, a total of 97 illegal plastic waste recycling plants have been identified nationwide, and we are confident of closing down 100 plants in the first quarter of this year. Strict action will also be imposed on licensed plastic recycling factory operators who do not comply with the Environmental Quality Act 1974.”
The Minister said that Selangor had become the main place for illegal plastic recycling plants, with the majority located in Kuala Langat and Klang parliamentary constituencies. Up to now, 61 factories have been subjected to enforcement.
She said that apart from the 61 factories in Selangor, her ministry has detected six factories in Johor, 10 each in Kedah and Negeri Sembilan, Perak (seven), Penang (two) and Kelantan (one). The ministry has also taken action against 20 of the 48 licensed recycling plants for not complying with the Environmental Quality Act.
The Malaysian Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin has not approved any plastic waste import licences (AP) to any company since it was frozen in July 2018.
She said: “Before this, there were 114 companies holding plastic waste AP but only 54 were active and from the total, only eight really complied with the conditions stipulated. Now all of them have to reapply according to the new procedures and conditions.
“After the AP application was reopened, only 19 companies applied, and the ministry will study whether the 19 companies are eligible to be issued plastic waste AP.”