Man created plastic and it destroys the Environment because it is non-biodegradable. The plastic waste remains an eyesore and litters the surroundings. Plastic has found its way into every nook and corner of our lives and replaced conventional material like paper, cardboard, glass etcetera. Many describe the modern age as the age of speed and the fast food culture has won over the masses. Along with this variety of foodstuff have emerged the single-use plastic items. These, as the name suggests, are discarded after use and involve a whole range of items from cutlery to straws.

Then there are the plastic bags that kill, especially marine animals. The problem arises about the disposal of items of this nature and Malaysia faces a crisis. Rich countries consider Malaysia to be the "garbage dump" of the world. These countries include the so-called rich nations like the United States, United Kingdom, France and Canada.

CNN says Malaysia has decided to send the plastic waste back to the source.

Malaysia became a convenient choice for illegal waste trafficking after China cracked the whip on the recycling industry in 2018. Right now, there are around 150 shipping containers waiting for return to 13 countries. Malaysia had done it in the past and is doing it again. Environment minister, Yeo Bee Yin, ordered the return.

No one wants plastic waste

It is strange that while plastic rules the world, no country wants to accept the responsivity of disposal of the plastic waste that pollute the environment.

In the absence of rigid global guidelines, the plastic waste finds its way into the oceans and poses dangers to marine lives. There have been instances of small turtles getting entangled in plastic bags and huge whales and dolphins dying from ingesting plastic waste as revealed through postmortems. In order to save the world, people have to play a major role. They should switch over to alternatives and bring back paper wrapping, cardboard boxes, cloth bags, glassware etcetera.

CNN adds that China took steps to ban the import of plastic waste two years ago. It was a part of an initiative to clean up its environment. That move forced international supply chains to unearth new destinations to offload the trash. One of these destinations was Malaysia. It seems America exported huge amounts of plastic waste during the first seven months of 2018. This is as per a Greenpeace report.

The Philippines was another dumping ground. Canada offloaded tons of plastic waste on it last year.

Plastic waste for recycling ends up elsewhere

According to the BBC, last year Malaysia's environment minister said – “What the citizens of the UK believe they send for recycling is actually dumped in our country." That indicates the nature of complication. In view of the observations of Malaysia, the UK Environment Agency explained that the returned waste was the responsibility of the private companies that exported it. The matter would come under the purview of UK regulations and the guilty would face the consequences.

The European Union is the largest exporter of plastic waste and America is the single largest exporter. A couple of reasons for wealthy countries to shift their recyclable waste to overseas locations are to meet recycling targets and to reduce domestic landfill.

The menace of plastic waste

Plastic straws are single-use products and an integral part of bottled soft drinks. Every day, millions of these straws are discarded and they add up to an enormous volume of waste. Similarly, for carry bags that clog drainage systems and even kill animals who mistake them for edible stuff and pay the price. It is necessary to discourage such practices and control the spread of plastic waste because nature does not absorb them and they will be there for years, possibly centuries.

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