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'We are going to send this back': Malaysia returning unwanted Canadian plastic

May 28, 2019

Malaysia is denouncing Canada's "irresponsible" export of plastic waste, becoming the second Asian nation to make plans to ship Canadian trash back across the ocean.

Malaysia is denouncing Canada's "irresponsible" export of plastic waste, becoming the second Asian nation to make plans to ship Canadian trash back across the ocean.

On Tuesday, Malaysian officials opened a shipping container filled with plastic bags from major Canadian chains, as well as product packaging stamped with "Made in Canada" labels from recognizable brands.

"I think you need to take back your rubbish," Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin told a CBC News crew at Port Klang, a sprawling facility outside Kuala Lumpur.

Authorities did not identify which company exported the plastic from Canada. But they said it will be returned to that exporter after it was deemed to be too contaminated and of insufficient value for legitimate recyclers in Malaysia to take it in.

It's not known if the plastic in Malaysia came from a municipal recycling program, but shipping waste halfway around the world and back is not likely what Canadians think of when they drop plastic for recycling into their blue bin.

"I hope this will make Canadians angry as well," the environment minister said. "This is the irresponsible export of plastic, of waste. It's household garbage, it smells bad."

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