Asia Recycling Waste Management

BBC Unveils The Criminal Practices of Recycling in Malaysia

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall finds UK plastic waste abandoned in Malaysia For his series War on Plastic.

BBC One presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall visited a recently closed recycling plant in Malaysia. There, among the abandoned materials, Hugh found plastics from the UK.


  • Some people from the chemical, plastics and recycling industry want us to believe that recycling is working fine. Why?
    • There’s a lot of money involved; but most importantly
    • The survival of a big part of the chemical and plastics industry relies upon our belief that recycling works well.
  • When unverified facts are turned into some kind of truth, recognised and enforced by an authority and civilisation, they become to some extend ‘social conventions’. German philosopher Kant believed that some of our mathematics were based on ‘a priori‘ assumptions and thus subjective and thus to some extend untrue. Mathematics are a social convention according to Kant. Civilisations are built on social conventions (e.g. history books, religion, mythology,  mathematics): Assumptions that could not be objectively proven were turned into facts.
  • Do you think ‘plastic recycling’ is or should become a social convention?