Malaysia, a country grappling with plastic waste management, has garnered recognition for contributing to the global plastic problem. In a recent report by WWF in 2020, it has been revealed that Malaysians have emerged as the highest consumers of plastic among the six Asian countries examined. The study indicates that, on average, each Malaysian utilizes approximately 16.8kg of plastic annually. This finding sheds light on the pressing issue of plastic consumption in Malaysia. It underscores the need for immediate action to address this concerning trend.
In Malaysia, a surge in plastic waste has been observed, attributed to various factors, including population growth, urbanization, and shifts in consumption patterns. In recent years, reports have emerged concerning the influx of illegal plastic waste imports from various countries. This alarming trend has only served to exacerbate the existing issue at hand. The implications have added pressure on Malaysia's waste management infrastructure, resulting in environmental and public health concerns.
IMG VIA NewStraitsTimes
The Malaysian government has taken significant steps to tackle the plastic problem, including implementing more stringent regulations on importing plastic waste and enhancing domestic recycling capabilities. The country has recently become a signatory to international agreements such as the Basel Convention, which aims to effectively manage the transportation and disposal of hazardous waste, including plastic waste.
Much like numerous other countries, Malaysia finds itself confronted with the intricate task of effectively managing plastic waste. Amidst recognizing the issue, there is a noticeable surge in attention toward sustainable waste management practices. This practice includes efforts to promote recycling and reduce plastic consumption among individuals and within corporate and governmental spheres.
In recent news, there has been a significant increase in usage. In Malaysia, disposable diapers have gained widespread popularity for their convenient use. According to estimates, a single child can utilize anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 disposable diapers before achieving potty training. The high usage observed in this particular case has been found to contribute to a notable quantity of waste.
IMG VIA DiaperRecycle
In the realm of environmental concerns, one issue that has garnered significant attention is the problem of non-biodegradable materials. According to reports, disposable diapers predominantly comprise non-biodegradable materials such as plastic and super-absorbent polymers. These components, which take up to 500 years to decompose, pose a significant environmental concern. A remarkable testament to their longevity, it has been discovered that even after 25 generations, one can still find today's disposable diapers. In the decomposition process, a disposable diaper has been found to release methane. This greenhouse gas contributes to global warming in the atmosphere. Alternatively, if these diapers are burned, they release toxic chemicals into the air.
In Malaysia, a concerning issue has emerged regarding the lack of recycling facilities and programs for disposable diapers. Most of these items ultimately find their way into landfills, exacerbating water and soil pollution, leading to frequent disruptions in water treatment processes.
Plastic-based disposable diapers, while a blessing for parents pose a nightmare for the planet. In light of Plastic Free July, it is truly remarkable how individuals are coming together to make a conscious effort to reduce their consumption of single-use plastic.
At least four items we can suggest to swap for achieving this effort such as:
1. Reducing disposable diapers by considering using cloth diapers as a better option and saving a lot of money spent.
2. Reducing disposable sanitary pads by switching to reusable pads, menstrual cups, or period underwear.
3. Reducing single-use plastic bags using Heiko's reusable and multifunction wet bags.
4. Reducing single-use bottle by taking along your water bottle from home.
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