This UK university professor has sparked a probe by delivery firm Foodpanda after he unearthed a huge dumping site packed with their rubbish in an urban jungle.
The incident started on 3rd November when Andy Hickson, who is originally from Bristol in the UK, posted a video on Facebook which has been viewed nearly 121,000 times.
In the footage, Hickson, who is a Dean at the Faculty of Arts and Communication at HELP University, is seen talking to the camera as he shows a huge dumpsite behind him in the Gombak area of Kuala Lumpur in western Malaysia.
Hickson is heard saying: “Look at that. Foodpanda stuff, that’s the main culprit, there’s a whole load of Foodpanda stuff down there. Dumped in the jungle. Why can’t you get rid of your own rubbish, you not making enough money?”
He talked with local residents who claimed that the site, which is close to the road and popular hiking trail through the urban jungle, has been a dumping area since the 1980s.
Locals also said that the authorities are aware of the dumping ground, but had so far declined to do anything about it.
The widely circulated video prompted Foodpanda to release a statement confirming that they will be investigating the matter with immediate effect.
The German food delivery company, which has a large market in Asia, said they are “working with suppliers to properly dispose of unusable delivery bags”.
They also said that all bags should be “dismantled, sorted by material type and then sent to recycling facilities”.
Foodpanda added that they are in contact with Hickson who has agreed to show them the exact spot so the rubbish there can be taken away. Hickson confirmed this, saying that Foodpanda had reached out to him after his video garnered significant attention online and in the media.
When contacted for comment by Asia Wire, Hickson said: “It looks like today the council has had a clean up.”
When asked why the local council had not done anything about it until now, Hickson, who grew up in Malaysia as a teenager in Kelentan, said: “I don’t know, probably because of the cost. They have now taken action probably because of the issue getting a lot of media attention.”
Hickson, like many, thinks that pollution is an issue globally. When asked what he does to help the environment, he said: “I speak out, raise awareness, recycle, reuse and do not throw rubbish away except in dustbins.”
When asked what the UK government could do to help, he said: “I think everyone should be responsible for their own waste.”
When asked what his thoughts were on western countries exporting their waste to the developing world, he answered: “I am against this.”
Earlier this year, Malaysia said it was sending back 3,000 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic waste to countries including the UK, the USA, Australia and Canada.
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