Malaysia to send back plastic waste from Europe, US sent for ‘recycling’

Robie de Guzman   •   May 29, 2019   •   1850

Containers of plastic trash from shipped to Malaysia from 14 countries including United States, Japan, France, Canada, Australia and Britain | Courtesy: Reuters

Malaysia will send as much as 3,000 tonnes of plastic waste back to the countries it came from, the environment minister said on Tuesday (May 28), the latest Asian country to reject rich countries’ rubbish.

Malaysian officials have identified at least 14 origin countries, including the United States, Japan, France, Canada, Australia and Britain, for its unwanted waste sent “under the pretext of recycling”.

“So, what the citizen of the UK believe that they sent for recycling is actually dumped in our country. And this is something that is very serious, and we did not only find this one company, we have found a few companies from different countries,” said Yeo Been Yin, Malaysia’s Minister of energy, technology, science, climate change and environment.

Malaysia last year became the world’s main destination for plastic waste after China banned its import, disrupting the flow of more than 7 million tonnes of the trash a year.

Dozens of recycling factories have cropped up in Malaysia, many without operating licenses, and communities have complained of environmental problems.

“Now we know that garbage, like what you see just now, is traded under the pretext of recycling,” the Malaysian minister said.

He added that 60 containers of trash that had been imported illegally would be sent back.

“We are compiling the list of the so called ‘recycling companies’ from these developed countries and we will send back, send the list of these names of these companies to the respective governments, to take further actions against, and investigation for these companies in their respective countries,” he said.

“Malaysians like any other developing countries have a right to clean air, clean water, sustainable resources and clean environment to live in, just like citizens of developed nations a right to clean environment to live in, just like citizens of developed nations,” he added. (REUTERS)

Malaysia carries out cloud seeding to tame haze in administrative capital Putrajaya

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2019

Malaysia carried out cloud seeding on Monday (September 16) to tame haze and control air pollution in its administrative capital Putrajaya.

Parts of Malaysia, including Putrajaya, have been reeling under an impact of heavy haze with air quality dropping to a “very unhealthy” 203 benchmark, on the Air Pollutant Index the country uses to calculate, as forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia continue to affect the air.

Malaysia carried out cloud seeding in the hope of inducing rain and also closed hundreds of schools and sent half a million face masks to Sarawak, on Borneo island, this week, as fires in Indonesia’s Sumatra and Kalimantan provinces continued to burn.

Indonesia’s neighbours have regularly complained about smog caused by its forest blazes – often started by farmers trying to clear land for palm oil and pulp plantations – though Jakarta has denied the accusation, saying forest fires had also started in other countries across the region. (Reuters)

(Production: Ebrahim Harris, Sunil Kataria)

Students return to school with face masks on due to haze in Malaysian state

UNTV News   •   September 11, 2019

Students in the Malaysian state of Sarawak returned to school on Wednesday (September 11) donning face masks due to thick haze coming from forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia.

On Tuesday (September 10) more than 400 schools in Sarawak were ordered to close after the smoke from the Indonesian side of the island drove up pollution to unhealthy levels.

Forest fires have raged through parts of the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the province of Kalimantan on Borneo in recent weeks, forcing the government to send in thousands of military and police to douse the flames.

Indonesia’s neighbours have regularly complained about smog caused by its forest blazes – often started by farmers trying to clear land for palm oil and pulp plantations – though Jakarta has denied the accusation, saying forest fires had also started in other countries across the region. (REUTERS)

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Walmart to stop selling ammunition for handguns, assault-style weapons

Jeck Deocampo   •   September 4, 2019

 Walmart Inc said on Tuesday (September 3) it would discontinue sales of ammunition for handguns and some assault-style rifles in stores across the United States, in response to the recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

The largest U.S. arms retailer, which has been under pressure to change its policies on gun sales, also said it would discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, the only state where it still sells these guns.

Walmart has already ended sales of assault rifles and raised the minimum age for gun purchases to 21. The latest move will leave it focused on weapons for hunting, including deer rifles, shotguns, and related ammunition.

The company will stop selling all handgun ammunition and some short-barrel rifle ammunition, such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber after clearing current stock.

While short-barrel ammunition is commonly used in some hunting rifles for small animals such as prairie dogs, they can also be used in military-style weapons with high-capacity magazines.

The retailer said it took the action following the death of 22 people in a mass shooting in a Walmart store in Texas as well as deadly shootings in Ohio and Saturday’s incident in Midland and Odessa, Texas.

Just last month, the company said it would not change its policy on selling firearms even as it took down signs and playable demos of violent video games.

“As a company, we experienced two horrific events in one week, and we will never be the same,” Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said in a letter to Walmart’s associates. (REUTERS)

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