World News

France agrees to take back 43 illegal waste containers from Malaysia

FILE PHOTO: Plastic waste piled outside an illegal recycling factory in Jenjarom, Kuala Langat, Malaysia October 14, 2018. Picture taken October 14, 2018. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Malaysia has shipped 43 illegal plastic waste containers back to France as part of a crackdown on illegal trafficking of waste, the two governments said in a joint statement on Monday.

The southeast Asian nation last year became the world’s main destination for plastic waste after a Chinese ban on imports of plastic waste disrupted the flow of more than 7 million tonnes of trash annually.

“Refusing to become the world’s new landfill, the country has announced the return of several containers, particularly to France,” the statement said.

The company responsible for shipping the containers has been identified and fined 192,000 euros (£163,699.9), the statement added. It did not identify the company.

Malaysia has returned 150 plastic waste containers to their countries of origin in the past eight months, including to the United States, Britain, Japan and Canada, the statement said.

Authorities in Malaysia said in November that Britain would take back 42 containers filled with plastic waste that had been illegally shipped to the country.

Reporting by Bate Felix, Editing by Timothy Heritage