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Malaysia vs plastic waste: Trash into treasure

Republika

Plastic waste collected in the waters of Tioman Island in Pahang, Malaysia is converted into plastic pellets used for production of auto parts, home appliances and furniture, instead of simply burying or burning it.


A number of entities have focused their efforts in the mission to eliminate plastic from Malaysian waters. For instance, Sea Monkey Project, a non-governmental body engaged in recycling ocean waste and Heng Hiap, a plastic recycling company based in southern Malaysian state of Johor.


Sea Monkey Project founder Sydney Steenland, who spearheads the initiative on recycling ocean waste, concedes that beach cleanups do help enormously. However, she also observed that unless people discontinue use of plastic, the situation see no end.


“Marine pollution is becoming a problem and we decided to focus on ocean-bound plastic material,” said Heng Hiap head Seah Kian Hoe. He noted that the company’s aim is to provide environmentally friendly furniture for conscientious customers.


Hoe’s branding manager, Irene Lim said: “Every chair that comes out from the machine…has recycled part of the trash that we have created in the first place.”


Malaysia, a leading consumer of plastic packaging, uses about 16 kilograms (35 lbs) of plastic per person per year, a World Wildlife Fund study revealed just this year. Sixty percent of the world’s plastic waste—eight million tons—is contributed by Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Photo: Nikkei Asian Review


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