GEORGE TOWN, June 19 — The Penang Consumers Association (CAP) today urged the federal government to cancel approved permits issued to plastic recycling companies.
Its acting president Mohideen Abdul Kader called on the Department of Solid Waste Management to cancel permits issued to companies that import plastic waste.
“CAP finds that the government has failed to effectively address the issue of dumping of imported plastic wastes and environmental pollution attributed to the plastic waste recycling industry,” he said in a statement.
He said plastic waste recycling factories, including illegal plants in Sungai Petani and the Kuala Muda district of Kedah, have been causing serious air pollution for a year and were affecting the health of residents in Bandar Seri Astana, Taman Ria Jaya, Taman Petani Jaya, Taman Sejahtera, Taman Berangan, Taman Seri Wang, Taman Intan, Taman Nilam, Taman Seraya, Cinta Sayang Resort Homes, Resort Villas and Taman Keladi.
“The situation is becoming serious as plastic waste factory operators who also process imported waste regularly operate at night, some reportedly burning waste at illegal dumpsites in the area,” he said.
He said CAP has sent a petition with 3,298 signatures to Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin, appealing to her to take immediate action to address the pollution problem.
In addition to that, the pollution was also reported to the Department of Environment and Sungai Petani Municipal Council.
“The communities have also carried out peaceful protests but to date, no effective action has been taken by the relevant parties to curb the pollution,” he said.
Mohideen said the situation in Sungai Petani violated the Environmental Quality Act 1974 by causing environmental pollution and also threatened public health.
“The pollution problem will worsen in the future if the responsible party continues to look lightly on these complaints,” he said.