SUSTAINABLE E-WASTE MANAGEMENT IN MALAYSIA: LESSONS FROM SELECTED COUNTRIES
Keywords:electrical and electronic Equipment, E-waste management, malaysian legal framework, hazardous impact, recycling
The seriousness of electrical and electronic equipment waste (E-waste/WEEE) problem is currently haunting both developed and developing nations around the world. WEEE in layman’s term can be defined as discarded components of electrical and electronic equipment that have no reuse value. Improper disposal of WEEE can bring about catastrophic effects to mankind and the environment. The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, 1992 categorises WEEE as hazardous waste due to the presence of toxic materials. Currently, the production of WEEE is expanding at a significant rate and is expected to touch 52.2 million Mt tonnes globally by 2021. The nations around the world have taken initiatives such as introducing new laws, regulations and policies. Malaysia is also similarly affected by the increasing volume of WEEE and it has been reported that its WEEE would reach an aggregate of 762.507 million units by 2020. In response, the Malaysian government has drafted a new regulation, the Environmental Quality (Household Scheduled Waste) Regulation, which is currently under review by the Attorney General’s Chambers. Using the library-based research methodology, this legal research aims to provide a comprehensive overview of WEEE management from a global as well as the Malaysian perspective. A brief discussion on the classification of e-waste and analysis of key initiatives taken worldwide is provided and examined. The article concludes with a recommendation for the necessary actions that can be adopted to enhance best WEEE management practices in Malaysia, to ensure the threat imposed by WEEE on mankind and the environment is curtailed.
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