Plastic straw ruling needs public support

Tiong (second from left) and others discarding recyclable waste into a collection bin.

SIBU: Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) is hoping the public will cooperate when its “Say No to Plastic Straws” ruling is implemented on Jan 1, 2020.

With the ban, eateries will no longer provide plastic straws for drinks.

Council chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King, who said this at the launch of 2019 Love Earth Day here, acknowledged that the implementation of the ruling would take time to be effective as both consumers and business owners needed to be educated.

“They need to realise the rationale behind the action.

“It is a progress that will slowly but surely see a positive impact on the environment and lead to a better future for generations to come,” he said.

Tiong said the single-use plastic straws were one of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution.

“One study published in January estimated as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches.

In Malaysia alone, studies show that we are using up 30 million straws per day. Plastic straws can take up 200 years to disintegrate.

“‘Stop Pollution is the Best Solution’. We can help change the fate of our planet by adapting our behaviour and adopting new habits, such as ‘Say No to Plastic Straws’ as a global sustainability strategy.

“This small act can contribute towards the conservation of our oceans and the environment,” he said.

Among those present were deputy chairman Rogayah Jamain and organising chairman Lai Chiong Ann, who is also a SMC chairman.

Meanwhile, the management of Wisma Sanyan in support of 2019 Love Earth Day, is piloting a household battery waste collection point.

The public can now place their clean used batteries (AA, AAA, Alkaline, Ni-Cad, Ni-MH) in clearly marked box on the ground floor of the building.

“We at Wisma Sanyan are very concerned about harmful heavy metal waste materials ending up in rivers and farms.

“This effort is aimed at encouraging families to put aside their used batteries properly and to bring them to the Battery Box, thus preventing them from being mixed in with other wastes and ending up in our landfills, rivers, farms, and eventually our food and drinking water.

“Together with everybody’s support, we can make sure Sibu becomes a green haven for our children and their children,” the company said in a statement.

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