KLANG: Although the Government is not compelling the people to recycle their rubbish, it should not be an excuse to continue throwing out waste, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.
He said the country was importing 1,200 tonnes of recycled plastic a year but yet the amount of rubbish continued to grow at an alarming rate.
“We are using up precious land space, polluting our environment and releasing toxic leachate into our underground when we throw away so much waste,” he said yesterday after launching the use of biodegradable shopping bags at all Jaya Jusco supermarkets from now.
He noted that the Government had yet to compel the people to recycle their rubbish because of a lack of recycling facilities and recyclable materials.
Ong said the public could make an impact by reducing the amount of trash generated by adopting the 3R lifestyle of reduce, reuse and recycle.
“A 3R lifestyle is easy to start and maintain. Just be smart shoppers, disciplined home owners and helpful and caring neighbours,” he said.
Statistics showed that people know the importance of recycling but the percentage of those who made it a habit was “low”, he added.
In citing the Damansara Jaya community as an example of being successful in inculcating a recycling habit, Ong said the community had started a successful “recycle Sunday” for residents to drop off their recyclable materials at a designated place, instead of complaining about a lack of recycling centres.
“There are volunteers at the recycling centre from 8am to noon. If we wait for the local authorities, it can take a while because of a lack of resources and manpower,” he said.
Ong also commended Jaya Jusco and other like-minded business entities for playing a part in protecting the environment by setting up recycling centres and converting to the use of biodegradable shopping bags.
AEON Co Bhd, formerly known as Jaya Jusco Stores, will start using biodegradable shopping bags in line with AEON’s Environmental Foundation’s objective to conserve the environment.
“The stores here use 50 million shopping bags annually. The biodegradable bags will degrade, thus contributing to zero waste,” said AEON managing director Soichi Okazaki.