Launch of Trash-Free Penang: Waste Segregation at Source & 3Rs Programme

Speech by Ms Josephine Tan at Jalan Thamby Kechik, Butterworth on 5th March 2022.

Good morning to all gathered here this morning.

As an inclusive State where people are our main priority and the welfare of Penangites has always been our utmost priority, it is no exclusion even when it comes to waste management. Success of an implication comes besides governments putting in place policies made for the people but also to include communities who are impacted by providing them the adequate equipment, knowledge, support and guidance. This is exactly why we are gathered here today ladies and gentlemen.

Penang State Government launched Waste Segregation at Source (WSAS) Policy introduced in 2016 and enforced in June 2017 to prolong the lifespan of the landfill and reduce the cost of waste management. In 2019, the total waste disposed into Penang’s landfill was approximately 2,220 metric tons per day; indicating approximately 2.3 kg of waste is produced per person per day. In 2020, Malaysia used 148,000 tonnes of plastic packaging for food. Our annual per capita plastic packaging usage was recorded at 16.78kg. However, with the hard work and commitments from various sectors ranges from local council, state agencies, industries, local community & NGOs, in 2020, MBSP had achieved a 55% recycling rate, which was the highest rate in Malaysia.

We do not stop here of course. Here I am here today and happy to launch Trash-Free Penang under Penang Green Council, taking a step further with local KADUN to ensure continuity of waste segregation at households and to encourage the 4Rs lifestyle among local community. Keeping non-recyclables from mixing with recyclables makes it easier to reuse, recycle, and get rid of materials and helps prevent the health problems caused by mixed waste.

Planting Green Community (PGC) Model which has been used in the SEA circular project, a collaboration program by Penang Green Council and MBSP with UNEP & KASA will be replicated here. Trash-Free Penang is a collaborative program with local
community and aims to achieve these following goals:-
• To organise at least 3 environmental programmes per KADUN
• 80% community participation in the environmental programmes
• Maintain a minimum recruitment of 100 Penang Green Citizens per KADUN
• Establish a minimum of 3 sets recycling bins per KADUN

For a start, Jalan Thamby Kecik under KADUN Sungai Puyu has been chosen. Recycling stations were put in place as a hub for local communities to drop off their recyclables and as a platform for people to meet, enjoy and share experiences, ideas, knowledge with regards for a greener environment.

Ladies and gentlemen,
In order to encourage waste segregation at source, workshops and training programmes will be conducted to educate the local community about waste management. PGC and other stakeholders will provide support to the MPKK in the form of education & awareness, publicity materials, and advise in order to scale and improve on-the-ground operations. Over the course of the project, the local communities will be encouraged to give inputs and participate in decision-making processes. This method presents a great opportunity that allows communication between government agencies and the general public and closes the reality gaps on expectation clarity with continued engagements.

Apart from reducing environmental impacts, this project would also embed community volunteerism in driving inclusive community participation. I hope that we will all come together to uphold the #kitajagakita spirit too when it comes to our environment. We are doing this not only for ourselves but for our children because the last thing we do not want to do is to leave behind a world beyond repair to them.

Thank you and stay safe everyone.