Malaysia returns 150 containers of garbage, including 11 to Canada

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OTTAWA — Malaysia says it returned 11 shipping containers of plastic garbage to Canada after they arrived on its shores illegally last year.

But Canadian officials, citing privacy laws, refuse to provide any details on the shipments, including where they ended up and who paid to ship them.

Last spring, Environment Canada spent more than $1.1 million to bring 69 containers of Canadian garbage back from the Philippines and paid to have it disposed at a waste-to-energy plant in British Columbia.

Malaysia’s environment minister told a news conference this week that exporters and shipping companies paid for all 150 containers to be returned to 13 different countries.

She said Malaysia will not be used as “the garbage bin of the world.”

The global market for shipping garbage and recyclable materials became a big problem in 2018 when China stopped accepting most recyclable plastic garbage, creating an international black market for garbage that has found its way to developing countries illegally.

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