Malaysia discovers biggest shipment of abandoned toxic waste

This article is more than 12 months old

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has uncovered its largest case of abandoned toxic waste, after 110 containers of hazardous heavy metals from Romania, bound for Indonesia, illegally entered the country last month, state media Bernama reported yesterday.

Malaysia in recent years became the world's main destination for plastic waste, after China banned imports of scrap.

It has been negotiating with origin countries to take back hundreds of containers of plastic that entered the country illegally.

Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said 1,864 tonnes of electric arc furnace dust (EAFD) - a by-product of steel production that contains heavy metals like zinc, cadmium and lead - was found abandoned at the Tanjung Pelepas port in the southern state of Johor, according to Bernama.

"The discovery of the EAFD, on transit in Malaysia and bound for Indonesia, is the biggest finding of its kind in Malaysian history," the minister was quoted as saying.

He said the EAFD, classified as toxic waste under the Basel Convention, had been listed as concentrated zinc in declaration forms. - REUTERS