On June 3, illegal waste was reported at the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), located in the southern state of Johor, Malaysia (Bernama). According to the Environment and Water Minister, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, 1,864 tonnes of electric arc furnace dust (EAFD) was found (Reuters). The waste was abandoned by Romania on June 15, as it was bound for Indonesia (CNN). EAFD is a by-product of the steel making industry that contains harmful heavy metals such as zinc, iron, chromium, cadmium, which can hurt the environment (Brenama).
“The discovery of the EAFD, is the biggest finding of its kind in Malaysian history,” Minister Tuan Ibrahim was quoted as saying (Reuters). EAFD is classified as a toxic waste under the Basel Convention, which Romania and Malaysia are members of (Reuters). Interpol has been contacted to further investigate the illegal waste left in Malaysia (Bernama). Malaysia has also contacted the Romanian Basel Convention authority to arrange for repatriations but have yet to hear back from officials (Romania Insider).