TEAMS from five schools presented their green initiatives conducted in the last two months at the closing ceremony of the MPMA-Dow-GEC River Ranger Programme 2017 at Sri Bestari International School, Kuala Lumpur.
The programme run by Global Environment Centre (GEC), saw a partnership with the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) this time, with The Dow Chemical Company as sponsor.
GEC River Care coordinator Dr Kalithasan Kailasam said the programme was a comprehensive curriculum that provides insight into the river ecosystem as well as every aspect of river pollution management, including solid waste.
“Students who undergo this training are empowered with the knowledge and living skills on integrated waste management for use in the schools’ environmental management.
“These activities will help participating students initiate the best management practices, such as recycling, upcycling, pollution reduction and river monitoring, in their schools,” he said.
The winning team was SMK Taman Dato Harun, which won RM600 for its decorative hangings using recyclables such as bottle caps, cardboards and excess materials.
Sri Bestari International School came in second, followed by SMK La Salle Petaling Jaya in third place.
The teams won RM300 and RM150, respectively.
Sri Bestari students promoted the use of water bottles in place of plastic bags, while the La Sallians organised tree-planting activities.
Consolation prizes of RM100 went to SMK Sultan Abdul Samad and SMK Damansara Damai for emphasising the importance of recycling.
MPMA president Datuk Lim Kok Boon said the association was a signatory to the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter.
“We want to show our commitment to managing waste. This begins with educating our youth on not throwing rubbish into rivers as they are carried into the sea.
“This programmes serves as a tool for students to continue environmental activities to protect nature and reduce waste impact on rivers.
“Simply reduce consumption, reuse where possible, recycle if you can and think before you throw.
“I like to stress the importance of validating facts before presuming the truth. There is much baseless information out there.
“You, as future leaders, need to find the truth and that can only be done with scientific proof,” he stressed.
Dow Asia Pacific Packaging and Speciality Plastics senior sustainability and advocacy manager Dr Han Zhang said the company had a legacy of innovation and strong focus on sustainability.
“We are happy to support this educational initiative to promote and instil a greater environmental and sustainability awareness among students,” he said.
Dow also contributed RM15,000 to the National River Care Fund, a small grant programme by GEC to support local community, community-based organisations and non-profit organisations in their river conservation initiatives.