• Saturday, Oct 24, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:54 pm

Malaysia's battle against plastic waste spans beaches and city shops

  • Published at 04:49 pm September 18th, 2020
Malaysia Plastic
People clear trash by the sea at Tioman Island, Pahang on September 13, 2020 Reuters

Malaysia was one of the leading consumers of plastic packaging, at around 16 kg per person each year

Every weekend, a team of volunteers comb the coastline of the Malaysian resort of Tioman to collect plastic trash that washes up on the white-sand beaches of the island lapped by the South China Sea.

But rather than burn or bury the trash, it is being recycled into plastic pellets so that it can be used to make a range of products from auto parts to home appliances and furniture.

"Everything is wrapped in plastic these days so it's incredibly hard," said Sydney Steenland, the founder of the Sea Monkey Project, a non-governmental group involved in recycling ocean waste.

While the initiative does help clean up the environment and recycle waste, Steenland admits "it's never going to actually stop the situation if you don't tell people to stop using the plastic first."

Heng Hiap, based in the southern Malaysian state of Johor, is one of a growing number of companies working with environmentalists to collect and remove plastic waste in the country's waters.

"Marine pollution is becoming a problem and we decided to focus on ocean-bound plastic material," said the company's founder Seah Kian Hoe, noting the aim was to serve conscientious consumers.

Conservation group WWF released a report earlier this year saying that out of six Asian countries Malaysia was one of the leading consumers of plastic packaging, at around 16 kg per person each year.

The report looked at China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, which are estimated to contribute 60% of the roughly 8 million tonnes of plastic that enters the world’s oceans each year.

The pellets made by Heng Hiap are sold to companies such as Kian, a furniture maker.

"Every chair that comes out from the machine we know that this has recycled part of the trash that we have created in the first place," said Irene Lim, Kian's furniture branding manager, in a showroom in Kuala Lumpur.

55
54
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail