Making small changes can help the world


IF anything, the lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic include the importance of looking after our environment. So it is quite disconcerting to learn that Malaysia has the highest annual per capita plastic use in South-East Asia, at 16.78kg per person, according to a 2019 study by the World Wide Fund for Nature (“Our plastic predicament”, Sunday Star, Oct 24; online at bit.ly/star_plastics).

Like many other countries, we have become increasingly reliant on the convenience of plastic. And with improper disposal, as much as eight million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans, badly impacting marine life and fish stock supplies.

As consumers, I can think of four effective ways to reduce plastic waste:

> Say no to, or reduce the use of, disposable plastic cutlery, straws and other single-use items.

> Avoid plastics that cannot be recycled if other alternatives exist.

> Avoid products with excess or unnecessary plastic packaging.

> Switch to reusable items when considering carrying water bottles and shopping bags.

Businesses, be part of the solution by doing more to help with recycling, including having recycling labels to advise which parts of packaging can and can’t be recycled. And providing recycling bins wherever possible – at the front of supermarkets and shops, for instance – to make it easy for the public to recycle, can also help.

Please “think globally and act locally” – we can all strive to make a difference by making small changes in how we use and dispose of plastic items.

SZE LOONG STEVE NGEOW

Kajang, Selangor

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