Now, countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and most especially Malaysia have been accepting increased amounts of plastic waste from countries like the United States, UK, Australia, Finland, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland.
Between January to July 2018, Malaysia alone imported 754,000 metic tons of plastic waste for recycling that was initially planned to turn into pellets which are used to make new plastic. This weight they received in six months is approximately equivalent to 100,000 large elephants.
Most of the waste ends up in Jenjarom, a small town in Malaysia where dozens of illegal recycling plants have started to pop up. These plants burn the contaminated plastic which sends carcinogenic smoke all over the town and those that neighbor it. When the government finally shut them down, 17,000 tons of waste had been left to rot in the town.