Malaysian Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin said the UK decided to repatriate the containers, which had arrived at her country's Penang Port between March 2018 and March 2019.
The move followed a recent visit by the British Environment Agency organised by the British High Commission in response to news of the illegal shipment of plastic waste from the UK.
The minister highly commended the British High Commission's proactive action of working closely with the ministry in repatriating 42 plastic import containers.
This cooperation signifies a recognition that plastic pollution is a global issue which requires commitment from various countries to address the problem, she added.
British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay said the repatriation of these containers reflects his country’s commitment to fighting the illegal plastic waste trade.
Since last year, Southeast Asia has been the destination of plastic waste hailing from developed nations after China banned waste import. Over the past few months, apart from Malaysia, some other countries in the region like Indonesia and the Philippines have also sent back hundreds of waste containers to the countries of origin.