UK TV Presenter Discovers 6-Metre Tall Plastic Waste From Britain Near Ipoh Wasteland

Why does news like this doesn’t shock us anymore?

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UK TV Presenter Discovers 6-Metre Tall Plastic Waste From Britain Near Ipoh Wasteland
BBC/KEO Films/Tom Beard and Nandakumar S. Haridas/Green

Look at the size of that plastic mountain!

Malaysia’s battle with illegal plastic waste dumping was thrown into the spotlight since illegal recycling factories were discovered in several parts in Malaysia in September last year.

It was a rude shock for both Malaysians and law enforcers as we’ve reportedly been harbouring plastic waste from other countries, putting the locals’ health at risk.

The situation is so bad to the extent that Greenpeace has named Malaysia as the “world’s rubbish bin”.

An illegal plastic recycling factory in Jenjarom, Kuala Langat.
And to further add fuel to fire, mountains of plastic waste from Britain, reportedly towering as high as six metres, were recently discovered near an Ipoh wasteland.

A new BBC documentary that was released recently revealed that the plastic waste that was intended for recycling in the UK ended up being dumped in a wasteland “deep in the Malaysian jungle”.

The Daily Mail reported that the “environmental catastrophe-in-the-making” has “fingerprints of British supermarkets – and council recycling departments – all over it.”

In the documentary, TV presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall picks out countless of plastic bags from supermarkets familiar to the Brits, such as M&S, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, and Waitrose, and dubs it like “some dystopian nightmare… a plastic planet”.

Among the plastic waste Hugh finds at the wasteland.
But what disappoints the celebrity chef-slash-host the most is the fact that local council recycling bags from across Britain were also found amongst the pile.

This meant that Britons who separated their trash for recycling thought that they’ve already done their part, only to realise that it’s been sent to a wasteland that's half the world away .

“When we put this in our recycling back in the UK, we think we're doing the right thing. I do my recycling and I feel good about it,” Fearnley-Whittingstall said.

“At least I used to – I don't feel so good now. I feel embarrassed, I feel ashamed, I feel angry, I feel I've been lied to.”

In 2018, a whopping 130,000 tonnes of plastic waste was imported from Britain to Malaysia.

'War On Plastic With Hugh And Anita' will premiere on BBC on 10 June.

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