Plastic waste is becoming a global crisis, and Malaysia is attempting to combat that by returning 450 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste to the countries that it originally shipped from.
CNN reports that nine shipping containers at Port Klang contained mislabeled plastic and non-recyclable waste, including a mixture of household and e-waste. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Netherlands and Singapore should expect waste products to be returned.
In April, Malaysia created a joint task force to crack down on illegal plastic waste imports, refusing to be a dumping ground for other countries. CNN reports that the authorities have since carried out 10 operations.
Malaysia isn't the first country to crack down on plastic waste imports. Last year China banned plastic waste imports as part of an initiative to clean up its environment, creating a ripple effect through global supply chains as middlemen sought new destinations for their trash. Since the ban went into effect, plastic waste exported from the U.S. to Malaysia more than doubled in the first seven months of 2018 compared to the previous year.