Plastic pollution has been an ongoing issue in the country. Lately, it appears that the problem is becoming more concerning.
As an environmentally friendly individual, I used to collect plastic bottles to give to people who would later sell them off. But lately, I haven’t had much luck getting anyone to take them; not even recycling companies.
I later learnt that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the recycling process worldwide.
As a result, local recycling companies are now reluctant to accept plastic bottles for the fear of stockpiling a mountain of items that has no market demand.
I believe it is time for the authorities and the public to step up in the fight against plastic pollution.
For instance, rather than using plastic containers to prepare popular ready-made foods, such as nasi katok, nasi lemak and nasi ayam, stall operators could consider the use of banana leaves, which are easily available and affordable.
There are currently no plastic recycling plants in the country; only companies that accept waste to be shipped out to other countries. Given how popular bottled water is, perhaps a viable way of generating fund to build a recycling plant is to impose a small levy on bottled water.
Having our own recycling plant would be beneficial not only to the environment but allow us to depend less on foreign waste management services as well as reduce the rate of unemployment.
It would also be good to see vocational schools showing support for the aspiration by offering waste management engineering to help build a generation of competent individuals that could man the recycling plant.