Taoist fest goes green

IT was truly a ‘green’ affair for the majority of hawkers participating in the recent Nine Emperor Gods Festival.

Penang Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said almost all the hawkers on the island’s popular vegetarian stalls along Burma Road and Madras Lane used environmental-friendly containers this year compared to the previous year.

“Only one stall was using polystyrene and the hawker was very apologetic when approached.

“Last year, the situation was different - about 95% of the 20-something stalls were using polystyrene.

“I am very pleased because this shows that our awareness campaigns are working,” he said, thanking the Tow Boo Kong Association for its co-operation.

Phee said the anti-polystyrene campaign on the mainland was not as successful.

“We have to step up our 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) campaign there as the majority of stalls were still using polystyrene during the festival.

“I have been monitoring the situation on the island and mainland during the festival, which ended on Saturday, to benchmark our success in educating the public,” he said at the launch of the Mount Miriam Cancer Hospital’s cancer awareness campaign on Saturday.

Phee noted that during the deities’ recent procession from Jalan Raja Uda to Bagan in Butterworth, a truck-load of rubbish was thrown along the route.

“We had a team of cleaners and a garbage truck clearing up the road and there were plastic bottles everywhere.

“The local councils spend a lot on solid waste management - if we can help reduce the expenditure for that, the savings will be passed on to the people through lower assessment rates,” he said.

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