WWF Releases Report Proposing Effective Solution to Mitigate Plastic Pollution in MalaysiaGlobally, plastic pollution has reached alarming levels, causing serious consequences to marine life and the wellbeing of societies along coastlines. Approximately 4.8 to 12.7 million tonnes of plastics are entering the ocean yearly, of which the vast majority leaks into the Indian and Pacific oceans, where many coastal-lands and countries are located. Under current trends, the volume of plastic waste will increase four times between 2010 and 2050 – meaning that, by weight, the ocean could contain more plastic than fish.
In a 2019 study commissioned by WWF, Malaysia has the highest annual per capita plastic use, at 16.78 kg per person compared to China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. In terms of plastic waste, Malaysia ranks the second highest in overall generated waste. Despite the government's revelations on the shocking figures of waste generated each year, the recycling rate of post-consumption plastic packaging among Malaysians is still relatively low.
To address the need for a proper plastic waste management system, WWF released a report entitled “Study on EPR Scheme Assessment for Packaging Waste in Malaysia”. In the report, WWF identifies the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme as a critical and effective policy tool in holding manufacturers accountable for the end-of-life impacts of their plastic products and packaging. EPR as a policy instrument also encourages adoption of holistic eco-design among the business sector.
The WWF report proposes a customised EPR scheme towards addressing Malaysia’s plastic waste pollution. The first step is having a mandatory scheme to provide a financial basis for large-scale systematic collection, sorting and recycling of packaging materials. For this customised EPR scheme to work, the report emphasises that the responsibility of implementing the scheme to be assumed by a non-profit Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) as the system operator, with strict monitoring and control systems carried out by the government.
For further information, please refer to our press release, factsheet on the report, and the full report.
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