Think about packaging before you buy anything


I COULDN’T agree more with Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin. Illegal importers of unwanted trash from developed countries (and from one Third World country) as reported are indeed traitors to this country (“DOE gets tough on e-waste”, The Star, May 30; online at bit.ly/star_dump).

These people who had full knowledge of the contaminated and unrecyclable waste in the containers should be taken to court. Autho-rities in the know, who allowed this trash to land on our shores, have to be investigated too.

We already have our own waste piling up in our backyard that is hard to deal with, what more tonnes of waste from elsewhere that are contaminated, cannot be recycled, are a health risk, and occupy huge amounts of space on our soil? Ironically, they have come from mostly the developed countries who have been championing environmental issues for ages!

I wonder how many more Third World countries are at the receiving end of such waste “packages”. In this case, no news doesn’t mean good news. It just means somebody might have chosen not to report it or chose to conceal it.

I strongly support Minister Yeo’s firm stand in rejecting any kind of illegal waste from any country. Malaysia cannot be the dumping ground for waste that developed countries can’t manage. If they can’t handle it, what more us, a small developing country?

And I strongly believe the issue does not fall on Yeo’s ministry alone but requires the cooperation of and support from other ministries and agencies such as the Finance Ministry, Royal Malaysian Customs and maybe the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

While that is being done on the macro level, Malaysians should spare a thought before purchasing end products that utilise single-use plastic and packaging.

This goes beyond using reusable shopping bags and not using plastic or paper straws and encompasses consuming food wrapped in plastic within a plastic, a box within a box and a bag within a bag.

What about going back to taking powdered beverages and biscuits in containers to our workplace or schools instead of using sachets and individual packets?

Anyone fancy using facial masks in cream, clay or gel form in containers that would last at least six months instead of the individual paper mask for every facial session that you have at home?

CPL

Metro Manila, Philippines