Penang group moots task force to bust illegal plastic recycling factories

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

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 11 — The Penang Consumers’ Association (CAP) urged the government today to form a task force on illegal plastic recycling factories.

CAP vice-president Fathima Mohd Idris said the government should take firm and immediate action against such unlicensed firms.

“The government should set up a hotline for people to report illegal factories and their activities,” she said in a statement issued today.

She also urged the government to weed out plastic recycling facilities that do not comply with guidelines.

Referring to a recent report of open burning of plastics in Relau, she said there was a similar case in Tanjung Bungah.

“Usually only a small fraction of waste plastic, about five per cent, is recyclable while the rest of which had to be disposed,” she said.

She said illegal plastic recycling facilities typically have “cost effective” ways to dispose of the waste plastic, which included illegal dumping and incineration.

She said plastic waste must be cleaned before recycling, resulting in the discharge of effluents.

“Such environmental violations have been going on in many states, particularly after China shut its door to the import of most recyclable plastics in 2017,” she said.

She said it is important that the government safeguard the health of the people by taking firm action now.

Related Articles