Malaysia's First Zero Waste Fest shows you how to deal with trash


  • Environment
  • Wednesday, 20 Dec 2017

This menstrual cup and washable sanitary pad can be reused for many years. - VICTORIA BROWN/The Star

As the Christmas festivities beckon, how will we deal with all that extra packaging? Will we end up producing a mountain of rubbish? This is the subject of Malaysia’s First Zero Waste Fest on Dec 23, Saturday in Kuala Lumpur.

“This is not an ordinary green market but a whole day event with the aim of producing zero waste,” says Tin Fong Yun, a zero waste advocate. “From the vendors we have invited to us, the organisers, we will do our best not to create trash while also having a positive educational impact on the public.”

Tin and her husband, Lau Tzeh Wei, walk the talk. In five months, all the rubbish they have produced could be put into one 500ml glass jar!

The fest will feature 15 vendors selling more than 100 zero waste products which can be reused many times over instead of being thrown away after a one-time use. These include:

Why create waste by throwing away plastic straws after just one drink? This bamboo straw can be reused again and again. - VICTORIA BROWN/The Star

> cloth menstrual pads and silicone menstrual cups

> bamboo straws made by the orang asli

> beeswax wrap to replace disposable cling wrap

> cloth diapers

> silk dental floss

Tin adds that members of the public are encouraged to bring their own containers or bottles to refill liquid shampoo, coconut oil, toner, dishwash liquid, laundry powder, etc, from the vendors’ big tanks.

These products will help people reduce waste in the long run. And of course, they will have either zero or compostable packaging.

“We will be having a mini exhibition showcasing all the zero waste alternatives to teach the public how to start their zero waste journey,” says Tin. “These include zero waste on the go kits, bathroom essentials and kitchen starter kits.”

This menstrual cup and washable sanitary pad can be reused for many years. - VICTORIA BROWN/The Star

In the afternoon on Dec 23, Bea Johnson, the founder of the global zero waste movement, will share her 10 years on the zero waste journey. She has inspired the opening of countless package-free shops around the world, including The Hive in Bangsar, KL.

Johnson’s book Zero Waste Home has been translated into 17 languages – both English and Chinese versions are available in Malaysian bookstores. Malaysia will be part of her Asia speaking tour, which includes China, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong.

“We will also be launching the first Zero Waste Map developed by Zero Waste Malaysia,” adds Tin. “It is a free map with more than 250 locations providing zero waste products or services, helping people to start their eco-friendly journey.”

Malaysia’s First Zero Waste Fest will be held on Dec 23 at Slate@The Row, 52 Jalan Doraisamy, Kuala Lumpur (near Sheraton Imperial Hotel).


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