Project to replace plastic bags for shopping

Yii (standing third left) with Chin (fourth from left) in a group photo with the top three winners of GiatMara Institution students of a fashion show competition.

MIRI: A project to recycle public banners and streamers into biodegradable shopping bags has started in Miri city.

The project is meant to create eco-friendly shopping bags that will eventually be used to replace plastic bags in shopping outlets throughout Miri.

This project is undertaken by GiatMara and Miri City Council LA 21 unit.

The upcycled jumbo ecobags are made by GiatMara students using expired advertising banners as well as illegal banners seized by the city council.

Speaking at the launch of the project, Miri mayor Adam Yii said there is an urgent need to reduce the growing mountains of plastic wastes in Miri and this effort by GiatMara and the council is a good initiative.

“The purpose of the project is to nurture recycling among the general public in sustaining development of Miri as a green city.

“The idea of turning unwanted or confiscated banners and streamers into usable items such as ecobags was first mentioned by the permanent secretary of Ministry of Local Government and Housing last year. This matter was highlighted again by the state Minister of Local Government and Housing Professor Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian. at the launching of “No plastic bag on Sunday’s” and the banning of styrofoam usage for food packaging on December 15 last year.

“I am happy to note that Miri local agenda 21 unit through the council’s zero plastic taskforce had taken note of the message and has worked on it. Eventually we have the smart partnership between Miri city council, which provides the unwanted or confiscated banners and streamers, and GiatMara Miri which provides the workmanship to sew and turn them into usable ecobags.

“I support this innovative idea as instead of letting this plastic banners and streamers become a burden at the sanitary landfill which would take long period of years to decay.

“We now turn them into useful bags for shopping and storage purposes moreover those bags are waterproof as well,” said Yii during his speech at the opening ceremony of the fashion show competition here.

According to GiatMara Miri chief assistant director councillor Keith Chin Hsiun, the implementation of the programme is an effort to embark on recycling practices among communities.

“Having an initiative like is to create awareness and participation from various parties comprising various government agencies, higher learning institutes, private sector and NGOs. We are receiving contributions of used banners or streamers from advertising companies for the project. We are hoping that more agencies and NGOs join our upcycle banner and streamer ecobags project as smart partners,” Chin said at the opening ceremony of the event.

Hundreds of ecobags have been produced under this programme.

The revenue generated would be used by Miri Giatmara training institution for their working maintenance and their activities.

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