Jan 20, 2020

Malaysia sends back 150 containers of waste to mostly rich countries

Malaysian Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin (front second left) and officials inspect a shipping container filled with plastic waste on January 20, 2020. Photo: AFP via Getty Images.

Malaysia is refusing to turn into the world's dumping ground amid growing disposal needs, the AP reports.

What's happening: The nation has returned more than 150 shipping containers of plastic garbage to 13 mostly rich countries since the third quarter of last year. Hauls of plastic waste have been rerouted to Southeast Asia since China issued a ban on importing plastic trash in 2018.

  • "Of the 150 containers, 43 were returned to France, 42 to the United Kingdom, 17 to the United States, 11 to Canada and 10 to Spain," AP notes. The rest were returned to Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Lithuania, Portugal, Singapore and Sri Lanka, Malysia's environment minister Yeo Bee Yin said.

Yeo said Malaysia is in talks with the U.S. to return another 60 containers this year. Canada, Japan, the U.K. and Belgium all also have outstanding containers that are being held at Malaysian ports.

  • “If people want to see us as the rubbish dump of the world, you dream on,” Yeo added.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Super Bowl spends $500k to ditch single-use plastic

Trash in the aftermath of Philadelphia celebrating the Eagles' Super Bowl LII win. Photo: Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, the Miami Dolphins and concession services for the Hard Rock Stadium invested $500,000 in replacing single-use plastic cups with aluminum alternatives, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: By one estimate, nearly 80% of plastic waste has accumulated in landfills or in the natural environment, and it’s uncertain how long it takes to degrade. Plastics are slowly permeating our bodies, oceans and even the air.

Go deeperArrowFeb 1, 2020 - Sports

Hong Kong reports first coronavirus death as hospital workers strike

Doctors register on Monday for the medical workers strike in support of closing the border with mainland China. Photo: Aidan Marzo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong reported its first death from the novel coronavirus on Tuesday morning local time.

Why it matters: The second reported death outside of mainland China came as over 2,400 Hong Kong medical workers went on strike to demand authorities fully close the border with mainland China to stop the spread of the virus, per the South China Morning Post.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 4, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus fears start to weigh on global business, stock markets

Photo: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

Worry about the Wuhan coronavirus is beginning to have a serious effect on business as new cases are discovered worldwide and China ramps up efforts to contain its spread.

What's happening: China extended its Lunar New Year holiday until Feb. 2 from Jan. 30, to help deal with the outbreak, as the country's death toll rose to 80 and the number of confirmed cases reached upwards of 2,700.

Go deeperArrowJan 27, 2020