Environment minister: Marine debris policy to be established

Humans throw millions of tonnes of plastic into the sea every year, and much of it gets washed back ashore onto beaches where it poses a risk to wildlife and the environment in general. — AFP pic
Humans throw millions of tonnes of plastic into the sea every year, and much of it gets washed back ashore onto beaches where it poses a risk to wildlife and the environment in general. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — A marine debris policy will be established to holistically address plastic waste polluting the seas and beaches, the Senate was told by Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin today.

According to Yeo, such pollution is attributed to ineffective plastic waste management.

The policy will also be aligned with the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in the Asean Region and the Asean Framework of Action on Marine Debris, which were announced on June 22 this year, in conjunction with the Asean Summit. 

Yeo said this in response to a question from Senator Ahmad Azam Hamzah on the direction the government was taking in regulating the use of plastic which was polluting the environment, particularly marine life. 

The government is actively mounting multi-agency operations at major ports across the country as part of efforts to prevent the illegal import of plastic waste, as well as enforcement against plastic recycling factories which are operating without licences or in contravention of the law, Yeo added.

In this connection, a total of 175 such factories which had contravened the Environmental Quality Act 1974, have been forced to stop their operations, as part of enforcement activities conducted until November 30. — Bernama

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