Poor waste management among main causes of plastic pollution

IPOH: The first step in effectively managing plastic waste well must be done at home. The Malaysian Nature Society renewed its call to separate plastic waste before these types of waste reached landfills.

Its president Prof Dr Ahmad Ismail said poor waste management was among the main reasons for plastic pollution in the country.“With over 10 years of involvement in plastic pollution research, I can say that the main causes of pollution stem from mismanagement of plastic items at home and the lack of discipline to manage it well.

“Garbage contractors don’t separate waste. It is sent directly to the landfill,” he said.

“Currently, we see many people making online purchases. A lot of plastic is used to pack products, especially fragile items.

“We forget how to manage plastic packaging, including bubble wrap,” he said during a CiscoWebex webinar on Environmental Conservation and Effective Plastic Waste Management in Bagan Datuk yesterday.

Ahmad said if plastic waste was not managed well, it would create a plastic waste island in the ocean after the waste was channelled through rivers into the sea.

He urged everyone not to dispose plastic items arbitrarily as this would go a long way towards protecting the marine ecosystem.“Individuals must understand the dangers of plastic pollution to stop this situation, especially in the ocean.

Ahmad said one of the best ways to practise recycling was by separating plastic items and sending them to recycling centres so that they could be managed by local authorities.

It was reported earlier that Malaysia ranked eighth in the world for mismanagement of plastic waste. — Bernama

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