MAREA targets to boost recycle practices


THE Malaysian Recycling Alliance (MAREA) celebrated its first anniversary recently with a goal to collectively boost the country’s recycling collection of post-consumer plastic packaging.

Launched on Jan 4 last year, MAREA’s mission is to promote circular use of packaging, by driving behavioural changes along the value chain and fostering high rates of segregation, collection and recycling.

The initiative is run alongside its 10 founding member companies, namely Coca-Cola Malaysia, Colgate-Palmolive (M) Sdn Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Etika Group of Cos, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Mondelez International (Malaysia), Nestlé (M) Bhd, Spritzer Bhd, Tetra Pak Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Unilever (M) Holdings Sdn Bhd.

Officiating the event, Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said to attain Sustainable Malaysia 2030, a strategic thrust identified in the Plastics Sustainability Roadmap implements mandatory extended producer responsibility initiatives and a recycling rate of 25% for post-consumer plastic packaging by 2025.

He added that MAREA’s proactive pledge and voluntary initiatives are very much aligned with the Environment and Water Ministry’s (Kasa) own vision and goals.

“Through this dynamic multi-stakeholder approach, the ministry believes that the results can strengthen the recycling circular economy, leading to a more sustainable future for all Malaysians,” Tuan Ibrahim said.

MAREA has also pledged to recycle a minimum of 25% of its members’ packaging volumes by 2025, which is aligned with the national ambition under the 12th Malaysia Plan, as well as the Malaysia Plastic Sustainability Roadmap 2021-2030.

Initially, MAREA’s focus is on the collection, separation and recycling of the main types of post-consumer packaging materials, such as polyethylene terephthalate bottles, used beverage cartons, high-density polyethylene packs and flexible plastic packaging.

Also present at the anniversary event was Housing and Local Government Ministry’s (KPKT) Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib, who said MAREA’s goals are well in line with KPKT’s mission of supporting local authorities to drive positive socio-economic development in ensuring healthy and prosperous communities.

For the implementation of scalable collection and recycling pilot schemes in 2022, MAREA has also identified priority coverage areas across the country.

This will see MAREA collaborating with waste concessionaires and waste collectors nationwide, as well as other recyclers who collect the post-consumer packaging materials.

Meanwhile, its chairman and Nestlé CEO Juan Aranols emphasised that environmental conservation is the key priority.

“We have to protect the planet’s natural resources and preserve biodiversity and the ecosystems that support many of our communities. Plastic waste is an important environmental challenge and is a problem in Malaysia and across South-East Asia.

“Not only that, but we will join forces to raise awareness and accelerate the implementation of sustainable solutions along with the support of Kasa and KPKT,” he said.

Additionally, MAREA GM Pauline Goh said the alliance brings together leading fast-moving consumer goods companies which are taking significant and tangible steps to reduce plastic waste challenges and improve the recycling culture in Malaysia.

“As more members join, we will be able to tap into each other’s expertise and knowledge to launch operations that will help enhance collection and recycling along the value chain,” she said.

MAREA will also carry out Consumer Education and Public Awareness programmes to facilitate the public’s behaviour change by educating on the importance of recycling and separation at source.

These activities are targeted to commence in the first quarter of 2022 with pilot projects in Selangor, Penang and Perak.