New legislation mulled to replace 'fragmented' plastic pollution laws, says Nik Nazmi

KOTA SAMARAHAN: The government will look into a new law to address plastic pollution in the country, says Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

The Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister said existing laws are fragmented, and its implementation depends on local authorities according to locality and context.

"We are looking at how – on a global scale through a plastic agreement (in terms of managing policy), – we see how the Federal Government can also enact legislation to address this plastic pollution problem.

"How we can make the use of more sustainable plastics – whether by reducing single-use plastics, biodegradable plastics made from organic materials or other alternatives to replace plastic," he said after a dialogue session titled 'Pathways to Plastic Neutrality: Collaborative Action and Innovative Solution' organised by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Yayasan Hijau Malaysia here on Monday (April 1).

Nik Nazmi described currents efforts as "not very effective" and despite various efforts, plastic pollution was still a major issue in Malaysia.

"We know that the quantity of plastics in our rivers and ocean contribute to floods and the prevalence of micro plastics in the food chain. We are relooking at our existing policies.

"Several states have imposed charges for plastic use but it is not widespread. One of the big challenges in Malaysia is the informal sector – for example in Ramadan bazaars and night markets where plastic use is still widespread," he said. – Bernama

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