Malaysian plastic manufactures, recyclers want stronger enforcement on waste disposal

Plastic waste is piled outside an illegal recycling factory in Jenjarom, Kuala Langat October 14, 2018. — Reuters pic
Plastic waste is piled outside an illegal recycling factory in Jenjarom, Kuala Langat October 14, 2018. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — The Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) and Malaysian Plastics Recyclers Association (MPRA) want waste management authorities to boost enforcement on proper disposal of waste, especially hazardous chemicals.

In their joint statement today, they said illegal dumps, whether of household rubbish or hazardous chemicals were a threat to the environment and to human health, representing a serious leakage from the waste management system.

“The illegal dump in Kampung Tambak Jawa, Selangor, where drums of hazardous chemicals caught fire and exploded on Monday, besides 250 drums of glycerine found dumped on the banks of the Klang River is an alarming indication of the rising occurrence of secret and illegal disposal of waste,” the statement read.

To reduce illegal dumping, MPMA and MPRA urged the authorities to examine and understand where and why such leakages occur and address the gaps in order to create an effective waste management for Malaysia. This requires wider collaboration among all parties involved from regulators to business, industry and households, they said.

“Illegal dumping is driven by economic incentive and convenience, and the absence of punishment or ineffective enforcement. Illegal dumping, like littering, is also a behavioural issue which cannot be addressed through blanket bans.

“It must be addressed as an infrastructure and system design issue and not just an enforcement issue. Careful analysis must be applied to identify the right measure or policy intervention in the design of an effective waste management system,” the statement added.

They added that recycling is a core component of an effective waste management system and plays a vital role in protecting the environment.

“It is a key element of circular economy, a system that moves away from the old ‘take-make-use-throw’ progression, where waste becomes a valuable resource, to be recycled as a raw material, made into a new products and not thrown away. This reduces the need to extract more natural resources and the impact on the environment,” said the statement. — Bernama

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