By Jerry Choong
SHAH ALAM, May 19 — The state government has moved to ban the importation of recycled plastic waste for recovery or final disposal by all factories in Selangor that conduct plastic recycling.
State executive councillor for tourism and the environment Hee Loy Sian said the move is to ensure the state’s environment remains protected.
“The state government endeavours to promote sustainable development by balancing economic growth and environmental protection, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
“However the plastic pollution resultant from its uncontrolled waste management at this time is a problem that must be handled holistically by all parties. As such we are very serious in resolving the issue of plastic pollution, particularly when it comes to plastic waste that has a negative impact on the environment and public health,” he said in a statement.
To that end, the 11th State Executive Council Meeting (MMKN) for 2022 which convened on April 20 and subsequently verified by the 12th meeting on May 11 has agreed to and approved five set policies regarding the operation of factories and premises that process recycled plastic waste in Selangor.
“Secondly, the new business licenses for recycled plastic factories will not be considered and approved by the state authorities and local authorities. Thirdly, any applications for new business licenses for recycled plastic factories will only be reviewed after five years.
“Fourthly, existing factories with legitimate business licenses can continue to operate, subject to the conditions of the Environmental Impact Assessment technical committee and additional conditions. Fifthly, the Environment Department and local authorities must implement enforcement in a synchronised manner by conducting closer inspections to ensure the procedures and rules are adhered to,” Hee said.
The councillor said MMKN has also agreed to reject the temporary license application and electrical supply connection for Jingye Manufacturing, a company that processes recycled plastic in Sepang.
“This decision was made after taking into account the residents’ complaints and investigations conducted as well as the traces of plastic waste on the ecosystem and social prosperity in Selangor.
“The implementation of the prohibition is also in wake of the frequent pollution and complaints of plastic waste dumping caused by uncontrolled and poorly-managed waste management,” he said.
Hee also noted that the increased import of unlimited plastic waste into Malaysia from abroad by factories and premises is also a key cause of pollution.
“As such the state government must take into account the recycled plastic waste management and handle it in a comprehensive manner to ensure it is managed in such a way as to reduce the detrimental impact on public health and the environment.
“With these policies, the enforcement by the local authorities as well as by departments and agencies will be carried out in a sterner manner, which includes the prohibition on approving permits for the importation of waste material from abroad to factories and premises in Selangor,” he said.