In 2018, China’s National Sword Policy came into effect. The ban of 24 types of solid waste imports to the country including plastic waste caused a global disruption of the market for recyclable material. This led to the redirection of plastic waste to Southeast Asia and other developing countries with less capacity and weaker regulatory frameworks to deal with the massive amounts of waste.
From January to July 2018, Malaysia became the world’s top destination for plastic waste exports, importing more than 750,000 tonnes of plastic waste. The massive influx of waste led to a sharp rise in illegal recycling facilities as well as illegal dumpsites, causing land, water and air pollution that has affected several communities nationwide.
The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) commenced research on this issue in November 2019 and we will be launching the research report titled Malaysia is not a “Garbage Dump”: Citizens against, corruption, complacency, crime, and climate crisis on 16 March 2021.
In conjunction with the launch, C4 Center and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) jointly organised an international panel discussion (webinar) with a distinguished panel from around the globe, given how plastic waste has become a serious global problem, with severe impacts on developing countries like Malaysia.
Watch the recording of the webinar here: