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Title: Effort to reduce waste
Date: 24-Feb-2012
Category: Solid Waste & Human
Source/Author:         TAN KARR WEI
Description: Reduction in the usage of plastic bags and containers will lead to major changes to the solid waste problem faced by our nation.

MALAYSIANS produce 18,000 tonnes of solid waste each day and the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) is putting in the effort to reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste going into the landfills.

In conjunction with MPSJ’s 15th anniversary, council president Datuk Asmawi Kasbi recently launched a campaign to encourage the use of biodegradable plastic in wet markets, night markets and hypermarkets.

“The usage of plastic bags and containers causes a big problem because they take a long time to break down. When the Kelana Jaya landfill was dug up, a lot of plastic material was still found at the site. That is why we should move towards using biodegradable plastic,” said Asmawi during the official launch at Sunway Pyramid.

Pretty in petals: Dressed in cute nature-themed costumes, children from the Kompleks 3C, Subang Jaya, performing a dance at the launch.

Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok officiated at the event and also present was Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh.

While the council has yet to make it a requirement for traders to use biodegradable plastic bags and containers, Asmawi said they would start efforts to raise awareness about the alternative material.

“Biodegradable products cost about 30% more than regular plastic ones so we will also be in talks with suppliers to see if they can provide a better price to traders. Currently, there are only two manufacturers in the area,” he said.

Together now: Asmawi (third from left) and Kok (fourth from left) officially launch the council’s Biodegradable Plastic campaign.

Currently, the MPSJ spends RM70mill on waste collection and cleaning service and Asmawi said that all parties have to work together in the attempt to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the garbage bins.

The council is leading by example and the MPSJ has started using biodegradable plastic bags for all waste disposal in the council offices.

“We would also promote the use of other alternative products like paper bags and reusable bags,” he said.

During the event, plastic bag samples were given to ten traders and several representatives from shopping complexes from within MPSJ’s jurisdiction.

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