Merck Sdn Bhd and Merck Pte Ltd managing director Dr Karl Roeser said in a statement that the seminar was held to build linkages between these various sectors to create a stronger exchange of knowledge and information while enabling better working relationships between these key players.
This seminar is a platform to encourage the exchange and sharing of knowledge on these various aspects and is a first step towards forging mutually beneficial partnerships for the environment and our future, he said.
He said that such partnerships were critical even as management of wastes had become an urgent global problem due to production of larger quantities of waste materials as a result of increased urbanisation and economic development.
According to a Unep-IETC 2002 report entitled State of Waste Management In South East Asia, Malaysia recorded a degeneration of 344,550 tons of hazardous wastes classified as scheduled wastes for 2000. By 2010, total hazardous waste is expected to reach 1,750,000 tons.
The seminar was attended by 200 participants comprising safety officers, chemists, laboratory managers and personnel, QA/QC managers, storekeepers from a wide-range of industries such as agriculture, chemicals, food and pharmaceuticals and water and waste.
The event included presentations from representatives of Department of Environment (DOE), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Sustainable Development Network Malaysia (Susden), Merck (Malaysia) and Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany).
Specialists, academics and senior officers involved in waste handling and management shared their perspectives.
Merck KGaA recycling logistics vice president Dr Hanshelmut Itzel spoke on safe waste handling in laboratory and production while Dr Puziah Abdul Latif from UPM covered some of the industrys best practices.
DOE Hazardous Substance Unit Principal Assistant Director Pauziah Hanum Abdul Ghani covered the Malaysian legislation requirement for waste management while Susden president Sunitha Bisan presented the NGOs perspective.
Merck also donated the proceeds from the seminar fees of RM70 per person to Susden in support of a community-based gender programme focusing on upgrading skills for rural and urban women.