Beat Plastic Pollution
We have entered the plastic age where our lives rotate around it—bags, containers, files, and even humans. You name it. Despite its utmost usefulness and undeniable convenience, certain plastics can pose a huge threat to our environment.
The fact that 6.3 billion metric tonnes out of 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic produced end up in landfills or oceans has spurred our eco-conscious State Government to instate stringent (and widely successful) policies against it.
No Single-Use Plastic
Single-Use plastics are so harmful that the United Nations has launched a five years Clean Seas Campaign against it. It threatens not only aquatic life but also humans who drink from plastic bottles containing BPA (Bisphenol A), which can lead to cancers and increased miscarriage risk.
Our Chief Minister, Chow Kon Yeow ruefully expressed that “We have become overreliant on single-use plastics that generate a vast amount of waste and eventually, contribute to marine litter.”
How to PRACTICE No Single-Use Plastic
|PLASTIC STRAWS||Sleek, elegant, and durable stainless steel, bamboo, or paper straws. Highly affordable too! (RM 10 –R M 20 @pop-up or online stores). Some famous F&B outlets, namely ‘CBTL’, provides purple paper straws while Macallum Connoisseurs uses sippy cups.|
PLASTIC TAKE-OUT CONTAINERS & CUTLERIES
|Tiffin carriers, stylish bamboo cutlery, and your silverware. Alternatively, patronize eco-aware F&B outlets that use food cardboard containers.|
|PLASTIC BAGS||Your shopping bag! There is no excuse of a hassle as supermarkets sell cost-effective cloth bags at the checkout counter.|
WHY No Single-Use Plastic
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) launched an ambitious and purposeful 3-phase Clean Seas Campaign in February 2017, which lasts five years (2017-2021).
I. Goal – To fight against marine litter by engaging governments, the public, civil societies (NGOs), and private sectors (businesses).
II. Action – Targets were cutting the consumption of sea-choking Single-Use Plastics, i.e. disposables thrown away after just one use (plastic straws, bottles, F&B containers, cutlery, and grocery bags).
The State Government has implemented the No-Single Use Plastic initiative in Penang since 2018 in line with Malaysia’s Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018-2030.
Learn more about the VISION “Towards zero single-use plastics for a cleaner and healthier environment in Malaysia by 2030” here
The government recently conducted a public survey on F&B operators’ and the public’s thoughts on no single-use plastic items in Penang’s food eateries.
Keep in mind that Responsible Consumption is part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Find out more here.
SCARY FACTS ABOUT SINGLE-USE PLASTIC
Plastics photodegrade, instead of biodegrading, resulting in slow breakdown into microplastics or plastic beads. Each is sized at an incredibly harmful one-half cm.
I. Harms aquatic life – Gets stuck in zooplankton upon ingestion. Attaches to seaweed, fish, and eggs consumed by marine animals.
II. Harms Humans – Drinks within plastic bottles may contain BPA (Bisphenol A) that can disrupt the body’s natural hormone messaging. This can lead to breast cancer, uterine cancer, decreased testosterone, increased miscarriage risk, and even damage child developing systems.
III. Can’t Dispose of! – Out of 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste that ends up in the environment (landfills/ocean). Reason being that ONLY 9% has been recycled and 12% was incinerated.