Incentivise businesses to tackle plastic waste management

By NG MIN SHEN / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

The government must find ways to incentivise businesses to take part in plastic waste management in order for public-private partnerships to succeed.

Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the movement of plastic waste has changed since China closed its doors to plastic waste imports at the beginning of this year.

“If businesses want to invest in a big way (in plastic waste management), there must be money to be made.

“We really need to discuss with other parts of the world (on how) to make it conducive for businesses, to incentivise businesses to grow the green agenda, and how money is to be made from the green agenda,” she said at the keynote panel during the Sustainability Summit Asia 2018 in Bandar Sunway yesterday.

In September, it has been reported that Malaysia has become a dumping ground for plastic waste from countries such as the US, the UK, Australia and Japan, particularly after China’s ban on plastic waste imports.

Additionally, Yeo also said that there must be a change in the mindset that expects going green to result in losing money.

Earlier this month, Yeo had said studies showed that Malaysia could potentially save RM47 billion by improving energy efficiency between 2016 to 2030 of a minimum of 137,775GWh.

According to the DESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs), Malaysia’s population is projected to reach more than 40 million in 2050.

The same trend has been projected for the nation’s urbanisation rate, which stands at 75% — one of the fastest in the region.

While this could lead to a stronger GDP due to greater economic production to meet demand, as well as higher per capita income, there is also the problem of increased waste as the population grows.