Reduce plastic production: Greenpeace Rep

George Town: Ninety-five percent of Malaysians agree to switch from single-use plastic packaging to reusable and refillable alternatives, according to a recent report by Greenpeace International.

The findings were released ahead of the 4th Intergovernmental Negotiating Group (INC4) meeting for the Global Plastics Convention, which will take place from April 23 to 29 in Ottawa, Canada.

87% of Malaysians supported reducing plastic production to combat pollution, and 86% advocated protecting biodiversity and addressing climate change by reducing plastic production.

The report, which involved 1,000 respondents in 17 cities in Malaysia, is part of a global survey commissioned by Greenpeace and conducted by Censuswide with data collected between February 16 and 26.

Censuswide is an international market research consultancy headquartered in Clerkenwell, London.

Greenpeace Malaysia public engagement campaigner Hema Mahadevan said people's sentiments to fight plastic pollution were significantly stronger compared to the global average, a testament to the urgent need for government intervention.

„The firm support for reducing plastic production is a wake-up call to industries and policymakers. It's time to shift from a throw-away culture to a reuse and refill economy, in which products are designed for reuse and longevity. Scaling back production is an important step towards a sustainable future, and we need to act fast.”

“We face significant challenges as Malaysia has become a dumping ground for imported plastic waste and is a major player in the plastic manufacturing industry.

„The country is burdened with legal and illegal dumping, with a struggling recycling industry compounding the problem. Landfills are filling up fast, yet corporations are resorting to wasteful solutions that don't properly address the core issue of waste management.

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„Effective policies are exacerbating the plastic crisis, underscoring the urgent need for comprehensive action.”

Hema said Greenpeace Malaysia would be writing to relevant ministers urging them to use INC4 as an opportunity for nationwide efforts to curb plastic pollution.

„Instead of relying on stopgap measures such as fines for plastic use or turning to ineffective solutions like biodegradable plastics, we must ensure that we reduce plastic production.”

On April 1, Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said laws on plastic pollution would be reviewed, adding that existing laws were „fragmented” as they relied on local authorities for enforcement.

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