Nik Nazmi: Government considering legislation to combat plastic waste

KUALA LUMPUR – The government is considering introducing legislation that addresses plastic pollution and disposal, which have been a major problem in Malaysia.

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said that the ministry is studying the need for specific laws due to gaps in current legislation.

It’s a lot on the local governments. “While some states, like Penang and Selangor in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur and Johor, are moving quickly, others aren’t,” he explained.

He told reporters that “we need a nationwide approach to deal with the plastic pollution” after presiding over the 26th International Surveyors’ Congress, 2024 on Thursday (6th June).

The Minister said this as a response to a study which showed that Malaysia was ranked highest in consumption of microplastics among 109 countries and was also among the top 10 for inhaling microplastic particles.

According to the study published in Environmental Science and Technology, Malaysians consume on average 502.3mg microplastics per day, and more than half of that consumption comes from eating fish.

Nik Nazmi stated that the Ministry was in discussions with the Economy Ministry about conducting a thorough study on the national plastic policy.

He also stressed the need for an effective legal framework that would phase out plastics with single-use, increase recycling rates and fight plastic pollution.

Discussions have already begun. “We are working closely together with the Ministry’s Environment Department, meeting with academicians, NGOs and consultants in order to learn from other nations and determine the best course of action,” he stated.

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