Realising that tonnes of plastic were being used to transport their produce, these entrepreneurs and part-time runners have switched to using reusable bags to deliver the goods.
Customers would also have to have their own baskets or containers.
Azizul Jalirin, 32, said when the MCO started, all he was concerned about then was to get the vegetables sold instead of letting them go to waste.
“At first, we used plastic bags just like everyone else but not long after that I was contacted by a Sabah Zero Waste member, Ruth Yap, who suggested that we use reusable bags if possible,” he said.
Asked how he started the initiative, Azizul said he just posted his idea on Facebook.
“I asked if anyone was interested to buy and help distribute vegetables and other crops to buyers in districts like Kota Kinabalu and their surrounding areas,” he said.
He said the response exceeded his expectations and on March 24, they started their first delivery out of Kundasang.
Azizul’s main task is to gather farmers and link them with distributors, who will then give the orders to runners.
“Vegetables will be sent door to door, and from housing to housing area based on their orders,” he said, adding that each farmer could earn up to RM200 per transaction.
“I told them to keep farming and not to lose hope because there is demand and there’s now a platform for them to sell their produce,” he said.
Yap, who leads the group in Sabah, said she suggested for Azizul to work with City Hall to get reusable bags, and introduced him to Lizawana Matin, its director of the complaints and public relations department.
The department gave Azizul 150 pieces of reusable bags made out of old banners and other materials.She said the bags were made by the public during the City Hall’s various programmes over the past few months before the MCO.
“We hope that by providing them with reusable bags, we can send a message that it is still possible to be environmentally conscious amid the pandemic,” said Lizawana. She also called on the public to do their part to recycle and upcycle wherever and whenever possible.
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