Hazimah Ab Wahab
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Plastic is one of the fastest growing pollutants in the world. The way we currently design, produce and consume plastics is not sustainable and inefficient. The massive production and consumption of plastics, especially single use plastic products, have contributed greatly to the plastic pollution crisis. Single use plastics or disposable plastics, are typically used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items also are often discarded in streets and parks and surely pose a serious environmental problem around the world.
Single use plastics are responsible for a large part of over consumption, mismanagement and pollution problems. Plastic pollution impacts our ecosystems, endangers animal lives and also threatens human health. The impacts of plastic litter, especially of single use and disposable items are growing as each year more plastic waste accumulates in our environment and oceans. Plastic items do not go away, they simply break down into increasingly smaller pieces, can release toxic chemicals into the environment and will take centuries to degrade.
Tackling this problem and promoting a sustainable use of plastics, requires a drastic reduction of plastic production, particularly of single-use, low value and disposable plastics. Therefore, Shah Alam City under the administrative and management of Shah Alam City Council (SACC), will commit to achieve Malaysia aims and goals towards plastic sustainability stated in Malaysia Plastics Sustainability Roadmap 2021 – 2030 by adopting three key innovation strategies which are Phase Out, Reuse and Material Circulation. Referring to this roadmap, Malaysia’s annual per capita plastic packaging consumption is high among all the Southeast Asian countries at 16.78 kg/person. Total household plastic packaging consumption in the country was estimated at 523,000 metric tonnes in 2020. This consumption is mainly driven by private households, small businesses and other end users such as schools, hospitals and government buildings.
The discussion in this session will be exploring the initiative of prevention single use plastic approached by other cities and agencies to overcome the plastic waste problems. This sharing session also will highlight alternatives taken by other cities for communities and agencies approach, cooperation among all parties, including government and the private sector in aligning towards circular economy and extended producer responsibility principle solutions. Approaches from other countries or cities will also be used as a guide to be implemented by Shah Alam City in particular and Malaysia in general towards achieving the targets and goals of the roadmap.
The session will explore and aims to:
1. Provide participants with comprehensive exposure on single use plastics and raise awareness among the community on the negative impact of the continued use of this material on the environment.
2. Explore the role of businesses general trends and challenges in Asia and Europe countries in tackling single use plastics. It needs to be tackled at various level with ensuring representation of stakeholders involved in all stages of the plastic life cycle. Reduction of plastics must go beyond recycling and consider a systemic transition towards circular economy promoting alternatives to single use plastic and favouring private sector initiatives.
3. Support Low Carbon cities and Sustainable Development Goal SDGs related to minimizing plastic waste.