PUSAT KAJIAN SAMUDERA & PANTAI -- Universiti Sains Malaysia

Rethinking our use of plastic

A LARGE crowd learned more about the dangerous effects of plastic waste during the Un-Plastic Campaign at Occupy Beach Street in George Town, Penang.

The campaign saw students from Wisdom Shine Educare walking around as human billboards showing items that can and cannot be recycled.

Children making decorative pieces out of single-use plastic.
Children making decorative pieces out of single-use plastic.


A total of 20 booths were also set up to educate the public.

At one booth, visitors could see through a microscope tiny plastic bits (less than 5mm in size) in zooplankton which are important organisms in the food chain.

There were also interactive waste segregation games, video sharing sessions and a jumble sale to promote environmental awareness.

Ch’ng Ghee Thye (in red) and his wife He Kae Yeng learning about recyclable items from volunteers at the Un-Plastic Campaign at the Occupy Beach Street in George Town.
Ch’ng Ghee Thye (in red) and his wife He Kae Yeng learning about recyclable items from volunteers at the Un-Plastic Campaign at the Occupy Beach Street in George Town.

The event was organised by Wisdom Shine Educare with support from the state government and Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (Cemacs).

Wisdom Shine Educare principal Rachel Ng said they wanted to create awareness on the harmful effects of plastic waste and sea pollution.

“I hope our message will reach the people and they will be more mindful when using single-use plastic,” she said.

Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Daniel Gooi praised the organisers for its effort to reach out to the masses.

Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng, who was also present at the campaign, said there was a need to create awareness on the three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle.

Artworks showing microplastics inside the guts of fish.
Artworks showing microplastics inside the guts of fish.

“Programmes like this can educate the public in a fun way.

“Microplastics, especially, have affected the ocean.

“Recently, plastic waste has been found in the deep sea.

“This is an extremely bad sign as it shows the impact of plastic waste all over the earth,” he said.



Source: The Star Online

By N. Trisha

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Centre For Marine & Coastal Studies (CEMACS),
Universiti Sains Malaysia.
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