Enforcement of polystyrene ban to start on Sept 1

Mohd Azizi said the cost of the biodegradable food containers would become more affordable when the demand increases

A BAN on the use of polystyrene will be enforced in Petaling Jaya starting Sept 1.

Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has announced that it will start imposing compounds and issue warning notices to traders who use polystyrene after the given date.

The council began its campaign to stop the use of polystyrene among all food traders in the city some three years ago.

Petaling Jaya mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain said the cost of the biodegradable food containers would become more affordable when the demand increases.

“We have to start somewhere and it is time we take measures to tackle the polystyrene waste. Start using biodegradable food containers and the cost of such containers will go down. When there is enough demand to justify mass production, the cost of producing these biodegradable items will reduce,” he said at the council’s fullboard meeting for June.

Based on a study conducted by MBPJ at four Ramadan bazaars last year, some 181.74 tonnes of rubbish were collected.

There were 1,339 stalls at the four bazaars. On average, each stall produced some 4.52kg of rubbish each day and 135.75kg in a month.

The waste management cost, which comprised contractor fee and waste disposal tipping fee, was RM78,932.

Mohd Azizi said there were 20 Ramadan bazaars in the city and the waste generated would be an alarming figure.

The council engaged 19 contractors for waste management at these bazaars.

This year, MBPJ selected SS6/1 Kelana Jaya Ramadan bazaar for its green pilot project.

Besides recycling programmes for cooking oil and solid wastes, customers were encouraged to bring their own food containers when buying food at the bazaar.

“Those who brought their own food containers stood a chance to win prizes in a lucky draw. However, the support was poor,” said Mohd Azizi.

On the issue of solid waste, the mayor said Federal Territory Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) statistics showed only 17.39% households practised waste separation.

He said awareness among the public to separate their waste was still low.

He said the amount of solid waste in Malaysia increased by 6.7% between 2013 and 2015.

“The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry aims for at least 22% of the waste to be recycled by 2020.

“Petaling Jaya is committed to continue its waste recycling efforts. Enforcement alone will not work, we need a shift in public attitude,” he added.

Later, the council prepared some 12 pots of bubur lambuk with one pot of vegetarian bubur lambuk and distributed to its staff.

The council also gave vouchers and duit raya to personnel whose income was below RM2,000, and single mothers.

The excellent student award was presented to children of MBPJ staff who did well in major exams such as SPM.

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