Zero Waste Malaysia launches Trash Encyclopedia to address recycling misconceptions

A Zero Waste Malaysia public survey suggests that the current poor household rate of recycling could be due to confusion among people about what can and cannot be recycled. Photo: Filepic

Did you know that Malaysians generate 38,000 tonnes of waste per day, but the household recycling rate is only 9.7%?

That certainly does not bode well for the environment as we move towards being a waste-reducing generation.

A public survey by Zero Waste Malaysia (ZWM) suggests that this could be due to confusion among people about what can and cannot be recycled.

To address this issue, ZWM is launching the beta version of its Trash Encyclopedia webpage (Trashpedia) today (Nov 30).

The webpage will provide interactive information about proper waste segregation and zero-waste alternatives to single-use disposables.

ZWM is a non-profit organisation and community group that advocates sustainable development.

According to ZWM, a Trash Encyclopedia is much needed in Malaysia. Despite the staggering amount of waste generated daily and the low recycling rates, there is no comprehensive platform that educates Malaysians about the recyclability of items and proper ways of waste segregation.

A ZWM public survey of approximately 7,000 Malaysians found that less than 60% of them segregate waste at home, while over 50% of all respondents were unclear about what could or could not be recycled.

We need to do more if we are to align with the 12th Malaysia Plan’s aim of achieving a 40% recycling rate by 2025.

Through the Trashpedia webpage, Malaysians will learn about waste management and alternative eco- and zero-waste solutions via interactive graphics.

The beta version will feature 50 commonly discarded household items, while the full launch in April 2022 will feature the complete list of 101 items.

By October 2022, ZWM plans to launch an inclusive multilingual (English, Chinese, Tamil, Malay) interface.

Trashpedia is in line with ZWM’s vision of “building a waste-free and sustainable future for Malaysia”.

By educating Malaysians about the complexity of recycling in our nation and offering zero-waste alternatives, ZWM aims to encourage and empower Malaysians to practise a zero-waste lifestyle from the comfort of their own homes.

For more info, visit

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