Improper Municipal Solid waste management

By:

Aisling Usun Bagly

Affiliations:

CSO Platform for Reform - Environmental Sector

Policy Code:

3j Environment

Problem Statement:

Solid Waste is not only a problem in Malaysia but worldwide. The lack of awareness of the public on the issues associated with waste is also a big problem in Malaysia. Most of the waste which is managed in Malaysia ends up in landfills. Despite the increase in recycling rate, more waste is being produced every year. Current landfills cannot cope and there is demand for additional landfill construction. Waste is also not thrown illegally ending up in the natural environment (including drains, rivers and oceans). In rural areas, one of the main problems faced by communities is the disposal of their waste. The waste ends up being disposed in rivers or burnt leading to more problems (including air and water pollution, diseases affecting both animals and human as well as microplastics).

Value(s) and Belief(s):

Constructing more landfills is not a solution as it encourages people to continue the habit of producing waste. The best solution is to reduce the amount of packaging and single use plastic, and to switch over to reusable and recyclable packaging for products. By reducing the amount of packaging and single-use plastic we can also reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change at the same time.

Proposal of Solution:

Awareness
Most Malaysian’s are unaware or prefer to ignore the problems associated with waste in Malaysia. In fact most of us are not vigilant about the amount of waste we produce. The Government needs to conduct awareness for the public in various ways to Go Green and be Zero Waste Friendly. It is important to educate packaging companies, supermarket, restaurants and food vendors to come with programmes to encourage zero waste at the same time.

Waste Management
The government also needs to focus more on a proper waste management system for communities especially in the rural area before investing in other projects. The government needs to show that waste problem is a very serious matter so that the public will be more aware about this problem.

Translation

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