PORT KLANG: The plastic waste allegedly found near a wasteland in Ipoh, Perak, as reported by BBC, is in fact sitting on a disposal facility.
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the claims by the British news portal was investigated after a report surfaced that TV presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall had discovered a 20-ft high mound of plastic waste deep in the jungle of Perak.
“The waste found in Perak originated from Kuala Langat (Selangor) as landowners who rented out their plots have to clear their properties off the illegal waste.
“We shut down the illegal plastic recycling factories and the waste was sent to the disposal facility to be disposed, at the expense of the landowners.
“Yes, the report is right. The waste is from United Kingdom but it is at a disposal facility. Landowners are doing so as their plots will be confiscated by the state government under the National Land Code if they do not clear the land and revert it to its original status,” she said today in a press conference at Westports Malaysia.
Yeo said she was in contact with the British High Commission to discuss matters related to waste disposal.
“It is waste from the United Kingdom but it is the Malaysian government that has to ensure that it is disposed properly. I am already in touch with the High Commission to seek ways to move forward in terms of cost, machinery, capacity building and more. We will collaborate and assist each other to ensure this does not happen again,” she added.
Daily Mail Online had reported on the environmental catastrophe, describing it as “it has the fingerprints of British supermarkets and council recycling departments” all over it.
“It's like some dystopian nightmare… a plastic planet,” Hugh who is also a celebrity chef was quoted as saying.
According to the same report, Hugh also spotted British local authority-branded recycling bags which, he said, had suggested that householders dutifully filling their green bins in the belief they were helping the environment have been lied to.
Hugh pulled out countless plastic bags and packaging from M&S, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Waitrose.
Last year, 665,000 tonnes of plastic waste were exported by the UK.
Until 2018, China was the biggest recipient until the government imposed a ban on the trade.