SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government plans to completely ban the import of plastic waste into the state within the next three to five years, the state legislative assembly was told.
State Environment, Green Technology and Consumer committee chairman Hee Loy Sian (pix) said the state did not intend to impose a total ban immediately to provide enough time to all legal plastic waste-processing factories in Selangor to recoup their spendings.
He said it would be unfair to these factories if the state was to impose a blanket ban now, and as such, it would only be done in phases.
“At the moment, we will monitor and control all these factories, and limit the amount of plastic waste that can be imported,“ he said in the Dewan here today.
“That’s our stand for the next year. But hopefully, in three to five years time, we will totally ban the import of these waste. Give them (legal factories) some time.
“If they were only to rely on plastic waste in the country, it will not be enough for them to run their businesses. So we (state government) have agreed that the ban should come into effect gradually,“ he added.
Hee was responding to Datuk Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi (PAS-Sijangkang) who had questioned the state government’s stand on the plastic waste issue and why they were sympathetic towards these factories, considering the extent of pollution in the state in recent months.
He, however, explained that these legal factories abide by all required procedures set by the state and that the question of pollution by these factories did not arise.
“They filter the gases that are emitted into the air and do not simply discharge water into the rivers. They follow all our requirements. That is why their factories are legal.
“We only take action against illegal factories who do not have APs. They are the ones who pollute the environment. We don’t need to be acting against the factories who abide by the rules,“ he said.
Hee had previously, on Nov 27, also said that banning the import of plastic waste altogether would be unfair to the legal factories as they have spent millions for their equipment, and should, therefore, have the rights to conduct their activities.