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For the last couple of months, Southeast Asian countries have been standing up to the bigger nations of the West.

Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia have sent back tonnes of trash, disguised as recycling materials, to the US, UK, Australia and Canada.

Picture Credit: Mukhriz Hazim/Malay Mail

It looked like the world was finally waking up to the realities of plastic waste and pollution.

via GIPHY

Then, Bloomberg – a US-based media company- tweeted an article titled ‘How to Solve the Plastic Crisis’, accompanied by a caption that names Malaysia as one of the top contributors for 63.6% of ocean trash.

The opinion piece by Adam Minter, who’s spent two decades covering the global recycling industry, states that just 8 countries in Asia are responsible for around 63% of total plastic waste flowing into the oceans.

Screenshot from Bloomberg

He also states that the junk is “almost solely generated by Asia’s newly minted consumer classes”.

Then, he offers a solution of improving trash collection, citing a study by the McKinsey Centre for Business and Environment that states boosting trash collection rates to 80% in just 5 Asian countries — China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam — could reduce ocean plastic waste by 23% over a decade.

via GIPHY

The article did NOT sit well with the internet.

The original tweet by Bloomberg was inundated with a flurry of responses that highlight waste dumping by Western nations in Southeast Asia.

However, there were also replies that attempted to clarify the article, saying that the main message of the article was to highlight how the lack of proper waste management leads to trash flow from land into the ocean.

The basis of Adam’s article seems to be a 2015 report by scientists that estimated how much land-based mismanaged plastic waste was entering the ocean.

Picture Credit: sciencemag.org
Picture Credit: sciencemag.org

Have a look at the article (HERE) and science report (HERE) and let us know what you think on our Facebook & Twitter accounts.

(Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean)
(How to Solve the Plastic Crisis)

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