CLOSE to 90 Ramadan bazaar traders were reminded not to use polystyrene containers to pack food for customers during the fasting month from May 24 to June 26.
Yesterday, during a briefing at the Kuala Langat District Council (MDKL), the Ramadan bazaar traders agreed to use better quality plastic to pack food.
MDKL assistant town planner/investment officer Nurasykin Mohamed Yusuf also gave them a talk on the effects of using polystyrene packaging.
“Even though customers may see a slight increase in the price, we must reduce plastic waste as it is good for the environment and for our health,” she said.
“Styrene leaches out when hot food comes into contact with the container.
“It is known to affect the central nervous system and kidney function,” she said.
Nurasykin added that each person’s action to reduce the use of plastic will help lengthen the lifespan of the landfill.
“Plastic takes up to 1,000 years to decompose and leaks dangerous contaminants into the soil and water in the process.
“Banana leaf will decompose in two to three weeks in a natural environment,” she said.
Other options that can help reduce costs for the customer was to use tiffin carriers or lunch boxes when buying food.
“Our parents used to do it in the 60s, 70s and mid-80s,” said Nurasykin, adding that people should think of their health.
She added that plastic is still used to pack raw meat, flowers, vegetables covered in soil, prescription medicine, poison, live fish and other aquatic products.
Selangor banned polystyrene and efforts to reduce the use of plastic bags was to reduce pollution to the environment.
Local council by-laws in the state have been amended to include this policy.
Businesses must agree to go plastic-free when applying or renewing their licence and those caught flouting the ban will face a RM1,000 fine.