Protect rivers, stop littering


THE Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) refers to the article “Plastic and polystyrene clogging up Klang River” (The Star, July 25). MPMA applauds The Star for raising public attention on the littering issue and its resultant impact on river pollution, although the headline misdirects attention to the products that end up as litter. It should be noted that the article does mention that besides plastic and polystyrene, other products are also found to be clogging up rivers.

MPMA has been reiterating that litter contributes to environmental pollution, be it on land or at sea, and litterbugs are to blame for this problem. Littering is a behavioural issue, and the public as well as the authorities need to understand that if no action is taken against litterbugs or proper infrastructure is provided for disposal of litter, rivers would continue to be polluted despite the noble actions by the authorities to clean them up.

Plastic products such as bags and polystyrene food packaging are recyclable and therefore need to be separated from the waste stream. In this regard, MPMA fully supports the separation at source (SAS) programme undertaken by SWCorp under the Solid Waste Management Act.

The objectives of the SAS, among others, are to reduce waste ending up at the landfills and promote recycling. In this regard, recyclables such as plastics including polystyrene are separated for recyclers thus ensuring that these recyclables do not end up in landfills.

MPMA would also highlight that the use of bio products is contrary to the SAS objectives. Bio products are supposed to degrade eventually and therefore are supposed to end up at landfills, thereby increasing waste going to these sites. Bio products cannot be recycled and do not contribute towards the nation’s recycling agenda.

MPMA has been advocating its “Don’t Be a Litterbug” and 3Rs agenda and has organised “Don’t be a Litterbug” and “Use a Bin” programmes since 2012. This year, we had anti-litter programmes during Thaipusam at Batu Caves (pic) and the Chingay Festival in Johor Baru. We are also organising an anti-litter programme during the Merdeka celebrations. As for 3Rs programmes, MPMA is currently in the midst of organising a 3Rs programme involving six schools in Alor Gajah, Malacca.

MPMA calls on the public to protect our rivers by abstaining from littering. If you need to throw something away, please use a bin. Also, we call on the public to practise the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle).

DATUK LIM KOK BOON

President, Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA)

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