At a news conference, housing minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said Malaysia would stop issuing new permits for importing plastic waste. It already had a three-month freeze on imports that ended last week, according to the report. “We will limit the import of plastic waste from developing countries. So we will limit the imports to only from the United States, Europe and Japan, for quality plastics,” said the minister, who oversees the waste management department.
The United States, the world’s top exporter of plastic scrap, sent 178,238 tonnes of it to Malaysia between January and July, nearly twice as much as it sent to the second top destination, Thailand, according to the United Nations trade database and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. Britain sends a quarter of its waste to Malaysia.