Swamped with plastic waste: Malaysia struggles as global scrap piles up

Pulau Indah – ironically, the name means “beautiful island” in Malay – is one of many towns in Malaysia where illegal plastic recycling factories have popped up in recent months as the Southeast Asian nation became the top choice for plastic waste exporters from around the world.

The trigger for this dumping deluge was a Chinese ban on waste imports from the beginning of this year, which disrupted the flow of more than 7 million tonnes of plastic scrap a year.

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