SEREMBAN: A total of 139 illegal plastic waste recycling factories, which violated the Environmental Quality Act 1974, have been closed from January to date.
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said from the total, 48 investigation papers have been opened on four factories while 44 more were charged with summonses exceeding RM3 million.
“All 139 factories closed or had their operations ceased were the results of inspections on 239 plastic recycling factories via integrated operations held since the beginning of this year to date. Four factories have been charged RM389,000 in summonses and one day jail while 44 other factories would be charged.
“The total number of factories had surpassed the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) targeted by the ministry for the first quarter of this year, which is to close 100 errant factories,“ she said.
She was speaking to reporters after participating in a special integrated operation on three plastic waste recycling factories around Senawang today.
Yeo said the operation would be stepped up to ensure those found guilty would not only be punished according to the law but also bear the cost of disposing the plastic waste seized.
“The plastic waste seized would be disposed of by auction to those who can dispose the material such as cement factories and so on without causing further pollution.
“But whatever cost the government paid for the disposal will be charged to errant factory operators,“ she said.
She added that when the freeze on the plastic waste import licence was imposed in July last year, the country had 750,000 tonnes of plastic waste and the ministry was expecting the waste to be fully disposed of by the middle of this year.
In this regard, the government would continue to conduct enforcement. A task force has also been set up to combat the issue. – Bernama