NGO urges Johor to restart single-use plastic straw ban efforts through festival


Participants of the Recycle Fashion Design Challenge showing off their creations during the Last Straw Johor Festival.

The Johor government is being urged to focus on restarting efforts to ban single-use plastic straws in the state.

Junior Chamber International (JCI) South Key president Ng Jia Yi said at present, there were scattered efforts being carried out by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and local councils.

“There is no solidarity or banding together to make this policy happen.

“We hope that the government can pay more attention to Malaysia’s Roadmap towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018–2030 by rallying all stakeholders to eradicate single-use plastics,” he said.

He added that JCI organised the Last Straw Johor Festival in July to get the participation of the state and local governments.

“We conducted a similar programme back in 2018 and 2019 before it was halted because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now that we are able to run such programmes again, we hope that the government will be able to support them and give life to the single-use plastic ban again,” Ng said.

The Last Straw Johor Festival gathered around 500 participants comprising primary schoolchildren and those from the government and private sectors as well as food and beverage outlets.

Ng said that reducing the use of single-use plastic straws among the public was a crucial step in protecting the environment in order to create a sustainable world for the next generation.

Johor enforced a six-month trial period to ban plastic straws back in 2018 but efforts were hampered by the pandemic.

“We hope that through this event, we will be able to reconnect with the government, relevant agencies and private sector to pick up where the initial trial period left off.

“We also hope to collaborate with others and raise awareness about the importance of reducing single-use plastics,” Ng said.

He shared that a handicraft booth was set up along with a No Straw Movement exhibition from JCI South Key for the festival.

“Children were taught to make mazes and kaleidoscopes from recycled items and plastic straws.

“There were also 30 students from Foon Yew High School Leo Club who attended our programme as volunteers to guide the children.

“The highlight of the day was the Recycle Fashion Design Challenge where the public used recycled items to create fashion wear within half an hour,” he said.

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plastic straws , Johor , environment , ban

   

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