Hitting brakes on single-use plastics

  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 07 Aug 2019

Enstrom (centre) having a light moment with the pupils after presenting them with reusable lunch boxes and water tumblers.

IN a bid to save the earth, over 600 pupils, teachers and staff members of SK Datuk Keramat in George Town, Penang, have stopped using single-use plastics at the school.

The school’s headmaster Mohd Kamal Mohd Nor said they were using reusable lunch boxes and water tumblers sponsored by Scania, a company that manufactures buses and heavy trucks.

“All of us were given a lunch box and a water tumbler each.

“It might look like a small effort but the impact, if followed through consistently, will be big.

“It will shape the mindset and behaviour of the pupils at an early age,” he said during the recent No Single-Use Plastics campaign at the school.

Kamal said the parents were also encouraged to maximise the usage of the provided lunch boxes.

Year Six pupil Nur Afriena Najwa Muhd Nahar, 12, said she was happy to see her school initiating the No Single-Use Plastics campaign.

“We have been taught even before this campaign that plastic is bad for the environment.

“With this programme, we are happy to at least be able to control our own usage of single-use plastics.

“With less usage of plastic in our school canteen, we are making a small contribution to the environment,” said Nur Afriena.

Another pupil Syed Muhamad Irfan Syed Maktun, 12, said he was delighted to receive the reusable lunch box.

“I will be using the reusable lunch box during recess time now,” he said.

Scania Southeast Asia managing director Marie Sjödin Enström said the campaign was funded using the ‘Master Sustainability by Scania’ fund launched last year.

“The funds are to motivate and assist local primary schools to start curricular and extracurricular activities or projects that focus on sustainability.

“Reducing the usage of single-use plastics is important as we have seen its adverse effects on the ecosystem.

“We are pleased to support the school’s initiative,” she said.

Scania marketing and communications manager Rofidah Azman said the funds were sustained by a portion of the company’s vehicle sales revenue.

“We hope to see more schools coming forward with their own ideas and proposals.

“We invite schools all over Malaysia to submit their sustainability project and activity ideas to us, and we will see what we can help from there,” she said.
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