Malaysia's Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin shows plastic waste shipment in Port Klang, Malaysia, Tuesday, May 28, 2019.
After Duterte said he was prepared to "declare war" on Canada over the issue, the Canadian government said it would cover the full cost of the return operation and pledged that the garbage will be brought back before the end of June.
Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin told reporters outside Port Klang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday that 10 containers of non-recyclable plastic waste are set to be shipped back within two weeks to several countries that smuggled the garbage in to illegal processing facilities previous year after a trade ban in China prevented the import of plastic.
The country's environment ministry was embarrassed by revelations at the weekend that vast piles of imported plastic waste, including packaging sold by British supermarkets, had been discarded beside a palm oil plantation an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur.
She urged developed countries to review the management of their plastic waste and to stop using developing countries as dumpsites for their garbage.
One U.K. company alone exported more than 55,000 tons of plastic waste to Malaysia in the past two years.
Earlier this month, they also sent back five containers of waste to Spain.
She vowed to ensure that Malaysia would not be a dumping ground to the world.
The government has clamped down on dozens of illegal plastic recycling facilities that had mushroomed across the country, shutting more than 150 plants since last July.
Last week, Duterte upped the ante, threatening to cut diplomatic ties with Canada if Ottawa did not take back the 1,500 tons of waste.
Malaysian officials and journalists inspect containers filled with plastic waste shipment before sending back to the country of origin in Port Klang, west of Kuala Lumpur on May 28, 2019.
The Philippines, however, rejected Canada's plan.
Yeo said 60 containers stacked with contaminated waste were smuggled in, en route to illegal processing facilities in Malaysia, and would be sent back to their countries of origin.
"Malaysians like any other developing country have a right to clean air, clean water, sustainable resources and clean environment to live in, just like citizens of developed nations a right to clean environment to live in, just like citizens of developed nations" said Yeo Bee Yin.