Most Unmanaged Plastic Waste Management
SAMARAHAN: Environmental problems related to plastic waste have become a major problem in Malaysia and the country has been ranked eighth among the 10 countries with the world’s most unmanaged plastic waste management.
This was pointed out yesterday by State Department of Environment (DOE) acting director Ahmad Saifful Salihin. He was officiating at the Battle of the Eco Green Music Vibes and Aerobathon programme in conjunction with the state-level Environment Day yesterday here at The Summer Shopping Mall.
“More than 60 countries have introduced measures to address the waste of single-use plastics, for example imposing restrictions and taxes,” added Ahmad.
“There are states that have banned the use of plastics. However, according to a report by the UNEP-United Nation Environmental Programme, such actions are not effective in addressing the problem of plastic waste.
“According to that report, several countries have taken steps to stop the use of single-use plastics on a regular basis. India, for instance, plans to stop the usage of single-use plastics in 2022 while Taiwan and the European Union plan to halt use of single-use plastics by 2030,” he said.
Ahmad said plastic pollution was a global problem that needed to be taken care of.
Malaysia, he added, had always encouraged sustainable development by balancing economic development with environmental protection in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Malaysia, he revealed, was one of the top contributors in the plastic industry with about 1,300 plastic manufacturers. In 2016, a total of 2.26 million metric tonnes of resin used to make RM30 billion worth of plastic which were exported.
Ahmad urged all those present at the Battle of the Eco Green Music Vibes and Aerobathon programme to start playing their respective roles and be more committed to the preservation of the environment in Sarawak.
Some of the efforts that could be taken to address the problem of single-use plastic pollution, he said, were to reduce or stop the use of single-use plastic bottles, plastic food packs/plastic bags and straws and to replace them with other environmentally friendly products and materials.
The Battle of the Eco Green Music Vibes competition saw the participation of 11 teams comprising Intriks Green (Kota Samarahan Industrial Training Institute); Junky Sound (SMK Batu Lintang); Recycle Berirama (Sarawak Heart Centre); Eco Warriors (SMK Batu Kawa); White Stick; Sen Jo (SMK St Joseph); Sakura Ecoband (SM Sains Kuching Utara); Lozd Boys (SMK St Thomas); Tingketong Breeze (SMK Bandar Samariang); Tukuq Stompers (Betong Community College; and Permata Hijau (Datu Patinggi Abang Haji Abdullah College.
Recycle Berirama, which came first, received RM1,000 while first runner-up Tukuq Stompers took home RM800 and third-placed Junky Sound received RM600.
Tingketong Breeze and White Stick, which came fourth and fifth respectively, received RM300 each.
Also present were Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) Health, Safety, Security and Environment vice president Marconi Mada, SEB general manager Ir Robin Tigai, State Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) senior assistant controller Rahmah Biak and Institute of Teacher’s Education (IPG) Tun Abdul Razak Campus director Anis Alisya Abdullah.