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IN calling for another blanket ban, the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) is hurting law-abiding and licensed manufacturers and businesses in Malaysia instead of focussing on smugglers and illegal operators.


A blanket ban would hurt plastics recyclers who have complied with the law and the existing regulatory framework and could drive them out of business. Instead of punishing smugglers and lawbreakers, it is the employees and their families who would be penalised through losing their livelihoods.


If legal plastics recyclers go out of business, it would hurt the environment as well because legal plastics recyclers also recycle Malaysia’s own domestic plastics waste. Recycling plays a vital role in protecting the environment and properly managing and disposing of waste.


As an economic activity, recycling is crucial to creating new value that benefits society and contributes to sustainability. Legal operators support Malaysia’s manufacturing and export sectors in industries such as electrical and electronics, automotive and others. A total ban would bring Malaysia’s participation in the global circular economy to a halt.


The Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) and the Malaysia Plastics Recyclers Association (MPRA) would like to point out that the Malaysian government has not allowed imports of ‘sampah plastik’ since 2008.


All law-abiding plastics recyclers have complied with this ban, which means ‘sampah plastik’ from overseas was smuggled into Malaysia and illegally imported. We hope the continuing debate will focus on the more immediate problem of how to properly dispose of existing ‘sampah plastik’ and prevent future smuggling. This would be more productive than harming legitimate businesses which have not broken the law.


We reiterate our stand that Malaysia has no place for other countries’ rubbish, and that we should not become the developed world’s dumping ground. We continue to support and are ready to assist the Government in their efforts to crack down on these unscrupulous and illegal operators and to protect the environment.


We will continue to work with relevant government authorities to properly discuss a robust, effective regulatory framework for this industry and Malaysia’s role in the circular economy where the redeployment and reuse of resources is a key organising principle.



20 JUNE 2019

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