Local authorities will be empowered to deal with waste management issues

Christopher (left) and Chin (right) presented a souvenir to Galharague as a thank you for the French Embassy’s donation to Blu Hope’s Sabah Plastic Neutral campaign.

KOTA KINABALU (February 17): The Solid Waste Management and Public Sanitation Law is in the works to empower local authorities to enforce, collect and dispose of solid waste, as well as address issues state waste management system, said Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk. Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

He said Sabah’s natural heritage is under threat due to our unsustainable way of life, including our use of plastic and the resulting plastic pollution.

Currently, he said less than 10% of the plastic produced is recycled.

Instead, he said 90% was disposed of in landfills or incinerated – emitting greenhouse gases.

“More than eight million tonnes of discarded plastic enter our oceans each year and the plastic is now found in the deepest place on Earth – in the Mariana Trench, nearly 11 kilometers below sea level. .”

Globally this year alone, Masidi said researchers have estimated that plastic production and incineration will pump more than 850 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

If it continues unchecked, plastic production is expected to triple by 2050. The corresponding emissions would reach 2.8 billion tonnes, he said at the Plastic Neutral Education and Awareness Launch Dinner from Sabah on Wednesday evening.

His speech was delivered by Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing, Hj Mohamad Hamsan Hj Awang Supain.

In Malaysia, Masidi said the main source of ocean plastic is land-based – plastic escaping from landfills and litter accounts for 80% of plastic pollution entering the ocean.

“Waste dumped in the streets, sewers and rivers ends up in the ocean.

“Plastic waste in the ocean is either broken down into microplastics that can be eaten by fish and shellfish, thus also entering the human food chain.

“A lot of plastic is coming back with the tide, littering Sabah’s beautiful sandy beaches with debris and plastic waste.

“Sabahans living near the sea have to live with generations of plastic waste.”

He added that Malaysia alone was ranked in a recent study as the fifth biggest ocean plastic polluter in the world.

In an “Ocean Conservancy” report, it said neighboring countries of Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Thailand and Vietnam were listed as accounting for 60% of the annual ocean plastic input.

“From the amount of plastic waste entering our oceans, it is clear that our waste management systems are not coping and sadly Malaysia has been ranked eighth in the world for mismanaged plastic waste.”

Therefore, Masidi said the state government is pleased with Blu Hope’s progress under the Sabah Plastic Neutral initiative.

“Blu Hope’s goals of maximizing the value of plastic waste – specifically bringing real, tangible and shared value to all Sabahans through organizations, through education and awareness, collection and separation of plastic at the source, different recycling technologies and scientific beach cleaning, creating a circular plastic economy comes at such an important time to help support communities in Sabah in particular and protect our unique biodiversity.

With the enactment of solid waste management and public sanitation underway, he said Sabah would be able to empower local authorities in the enforcement, collection and disposal of solid waste and would provide a solution to the state’s waste management problems.

“With strong additional support from international governments, Sabah can and will lead the way with Sabah Plastic Neutral for a healthier and more sustainable future as UNESCO’s Decade of Oceans begins.”

Meanwhile, Sabah’s Director of Education, Datuk Dr Mistirine Radin, said, “Water is life! – Rethinking the Plastics Education and Awareness Program” would encourage behavioral change towards the use of plastics, starting with young people.

In just three sessions, she said all students in Sabah would learn about the ocean, the problem of plastic waste and the different solutions.

“Through interactive sessions with the whole family, they reflect on their use of plastic, creating the change needed.”

Meanwhile, Dr Mistirine said the program is providing reliable, safe and clean drinking water to all students and teachers in Sabah by installing a unique water filter in all schools in the state, thus solving the biggest problem of single-use plastic waste in schools, especially plastic. Bottles of water.

She said Sabah Education Department will give full support to Blu Hope and its Water is Life! – Redesign the plastics education and awareness program to reach all students and teachers by the end of 2023.

Also in attendance were French Ambassador to Malaysia, Roland Galharague, Blu Hope Founder, Simon Christopher, and Blu Hope Co-Founder and Community Director, Monica Chin.

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