Malaysia’s Penang Department of Environment (DOE) has ordered the return of 24 containers of waste paper following inspection.
Of these, 19 have been sent back to Canada and five to the United States.
Following inspection at North Butterworth Container Terminal, it was found that the waste paper was being imported by facilities that did not have approved licenses from Malaysia’s Ministry of Trade and Industry to do so. The importers and exporters have not been named.
Penang DOE director Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab said: “Our investigation found that 19 units of the containers from Canada and five from the United States, which were trying to dispose of the paper waste here, the importers did not have a receiving facility that has a licence from the local authorities nor a manufacturer’s licence from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
“The importer’s failure to obtain approval at the recipient’s premises can lead to negative implications, such as the possibility of illegal disposal and processing of waste, open burning as well as various other problems.”
She added that there had been a significant increase in the entry of paper and other waste materials since China banned its entry into there on 1 January 2021.
This had led to industry players relocating from China to Malaysia, she said.