The Malaysian government will send back up to 100 tonnes of Australian plastic waste because it was too contaminated to recycle, but will not yet name the companies responsible. On Tuesday, Malaysia’s environment minister, Yeo Bee Yin, announced that 3,000 tonnes of waste, sent from around the world, would be returned because it was either rotting, contaminated, or had been falsely labelled and smuggled in.
Recycling sent from Australia, Yeo said, included plastic bottles that were “full of maggots”. Yeo said Malaysia had become a “dumping ground” for rubbish that was harming its environment. Up to 60 containers of subpar recycling would be returned to their country of origin “without mercy”, she said. Some were so contaminated they could not be recycled, while others had been illegally shipped in, or mislabelled.
“Malaysia will not be the dumping ground of the world,” Yeo said. “We will fight back. Even though we are a small country, we can’t be bullied by