PETALING JAYA: It will be a daunting task to reach the national recycling rate target of 40% by 2025, but it is not impossible, environmental groups say.
Pertubuhan Perlindungan Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka) Chairman Damien Thanam said the target is realistic but can only be achieved with constant management and continuous monitoring at state and national level. National level.
“The biggest setback would be incompetence in keeping up with recycling efforts and complacency when it comes to being pro-planet in terms of managing trash for a greener earth.
“Educational campaigns that encourage recycling at home and in schools, alongside incentives, such as municipal tax refunds and rewards to communities that apply good recycling practices, should also be organized,” he said. -he declares.
Commenting on the decrease in the amount of plastic in landfills, Damien hoped that it was really due to the reduction in plastic use, but he feared that it was due to loopholes in the system.
“These shortcomings may have resulted in plastic ending up in waterways, illegal landfills or unofficial incinerators, and could have been overlooked by law enforcement agencies,” he said. -he declares.
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He added that the government should promote innovation to constantly improve environmentally friendly technologies to ensure that no waste or pollution is generated from the recycling process.
“Local recycling taxes should also be put in place for household waste that is not sorted before being discarded for collection.
“Taxes can also be applied to businesses and consumers who rely on single-use plastics,” he said.
He added that the Ministry of Education also plays a vital role in educating the next generation to be pro-planet.
“The efforts made by individuals such as Sangga Sinayah, the school principal who educated and promoted pro-planet lifestyles among teachers, students and parents, should be recognized, learned and further encouraged by the government and the public,” he said.
President and CEO of Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia, Andrew Sebastian, said it was difficult to meet the 40% target due to the high use of face masks and other plastics in the country. past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“But the goal can be achieved if there is enough political will and initiatives taken by all sectors of society,” he said.
Sebastian also noted that the downward trend in plastic in landfills could be due to Covid-19 restrictions forcing people to stay home and businesses to reduce operations or even close.
He said green choices were needed to minimize carbon footprints to create a more sustainable environment.
“Recycling will help tip the scales by producing or reusing existing materials instead of constantly using more resources.
“It can also provide short- and medium-term employment opportunities. In the long term, hopefully, there would be a shortage of materials to recycle,” he said.
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Environmental science doctoral candidate Celine Chong said recycling was crucial in preventing harmful chemicals from entering the environment.
“Items such as inkjet cartridges and computers are made from heavy metals, and disposing of them in landfills would have a negative impact on humans and wildlife.
“By sending these items to recycling facilities, they can be handled appropriately,” she said, adding that recycling can also help mitigate climate change, as landfills release methane, a powerful gas. Greenhouse effect.
Chong said one of the easiest ways to practice recycling is to separate organic and inorganic waste for easy collection by waste collectors.
“Homes and offices could also receive recycling bins to increase the convenience of recycling.
“Education in schools and with parents is also key to cultivating and instilling the spirit of recycling, especially among younger generations,” she said.