500 people take part in MPAJ’s Plastic-Free Day to learn about sustainability
AMPANG Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) drove home the benefits of sustainable living to residents during its first Plastic-Free Day gathering.
The event was organised in cooperation with MPAJ Zone 21 residents’ committee (JKP) at Tasik Pandan Perdana Ampang, Ampang Jaya.
About 500 people, including 40 volunteers, took part in various activities such as rubbish collection around Tasik Pandan Perdana, a fun design competition using recyclable materials as well as a weaving competition using waste products.
MPAJ councillor Yew Jia Haur said Selangor was the first state to enforce a plastic-free campaign in 2017.
“We implemented charges for single-use plastic and also a ban on the use of polystyrene,” he said.
The campaign to prevent plastic pollution, he said, applied to business premises and local residents.
Out of 8,575 registered premises, more than half (4,911) have gone plastic-free, MPAJ said in a statement.
The council also implemented the Plastic Bag Charge Collection Programme in 2020.
Yew said single-use plastics could take up to 1,000 years to decompose, but despite this, 400 million tonnes of plastic waste is thrown away worldwide each year.
“This affects us as it pollutes our environment and disrupts food chains.
“Microplastics may even enter our bodies through contamination in our food.”
The event hosted several exhibitions by the Selangor Water Management Authority (LUAS), Selangor Department of Environment, Friends of Rivers Malaysia, and Employees Provident Fund alongside exhibitions about sustainable development goals and recycling.
There was also a colouring contest for children, and a counter set up to collect used cooking oil and ewaste.
The event received the attention of agencies such as KDEB Waste Management Sdn Bhd, Hulu Langat Drainage and Irrigation Department, Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd and residents’ committee groups.
MPAJ Zone 21 councillor R. Moganraj said while going plastic-free may be difficult, it got easier with practice.
“Tasik Pandan Perdana has great potential to become an urban attraction. It would be a great loss if it was polluted with rubbish,” he said.
Also at the Plastic-Free Day were MPAJ president Dr Ani Ahmad, MPAJ secretary Julaihah Jamaludin and LUAS director Hasrolnizam Shaari.