Phee: Stop plastic trash imports now



A PENANG executive councillor has warned importers not to treat the state as an illegal ‘dumping ground’ after the huge discovery of 7.95mil tonnes of plastic waste at the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT).

State Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the unwanted waste was found inside 265 containers stranded at the port since January.

He said these containers had arrived at the port early this year with most of them wrongly declared as scrap.

Phee with Saidi show the plastic waste kept inside one of the containers to the reporters after a press conference.

He added that 149 were wrongly declared while 116 were not declared.

Phee said out of 265 containers, 158 were being probed while the importing companies of 130 containers were issued RM1,000 fine for each container.

He said a total of 11 companies linked to this were also being investigated while he believed such activity has been ongoing for the last three years.

“Those foreign countries involved include Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, France, Hong Kong and Japan. Half of the waste comes from Canada.

“Such a gargantuan amount of imported waste will surely be sent back to the countries of origin soon.

A Customs personnel shows the trash to media.

“We are totally against such ridiculous act,” he said at a press conference accompanied by state Customs director Saidi Ismail in Kampung Kastam today.

Prior to this, 3,000 tonnes of plastic waste from 60 containers were also found in Port Klang, Selangor.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Yee Bin had stated that the imported contaminated plastic waste in Port Klang would be shipped back to the countries of origin.

Phee, nevertheless, also urged for stern action to be taken and called the importers to abide by the laws.

“We should not let the state to become a dumping ground for imported plastic waste,” he stated.

Story by Edmund Lee
Pix and video by Chan Kok Kuan